Disney Cut Li Shang From The Mulan Remake And Fans Are MAD
18 April 2018, 14:46 | Updated: 18 April 2018, 14:59
The rumoured bisexual icon is a big loss for fans
A keen-eyed fan publishing a casting call for Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan has noticed an essential element missing: following news that the original’s songs would be cut, it appears that the character of Li Shang won’t be in the remake.
The furore is understandable, as it’s not just about cutting a beloved character – fans are upset because Disney are cutting a character who has been read as bisexual because of the way he feels about both Ping and Mulan. Shang, Mulan’s commander, eventually becomes her love interest after he has a growing interest in her when she is disguised as a man.
Shang’s inclusion would have provided the perfect opportunity for Disney to take that intoned bisexuality and make it explicit, bringing the remake to the 21st century.
Instead, they’ve inserted the character of Chen Honghui, a recruit who becomes Ping’s rival and then falls for Mulan once she reveals she’s a woman. It's pretty cowardly of Disney, who've been trying their hand at performative wokeness lately with some strong women characters and one "gay scene" in the remake of Beauty and the Beast, to not only miss an opportunity to make the bisexuality more overt but to cut any undertones entirely. Because films with low-key interspecies relationships are all good, but showing bisexuality in 2018 is just too damn far.
Fans have, naturally, been reacting to this erasure of the film’s queer subtext:
lrt cannot even begin to describe how uninterested i am in disney turning mulan into a story about a guy who only respects mulan as a soldier and a rival when he thinks she’s a man and suddenly sees her as fuckable when he finds out she’s a woman— Sas Batcii 🌿 melbnova#42 (@sasbatcii) April 17, 2018
saddened to report it’s basically been confirmed that li shang will not be in the live-action mulan.— nerdy (@nerdyasians) April 16, 2018
the mulan casting call has been confirmed to be accurate. donnie yen was cast as “commander tung,” who is in the description for “chen honghui.”
rest in peace bisexual icon. pic.twitter.com/7El8TDhJg5
since li shang THE bisexual king will not be in the mulan live action and instead they're introducing that new problematic character that bullies her up until he finds out she's a woman i don't care about it anymore and i hope it flops pic.twitter.com/HCuL3QivhV— estefany -8 (@brookIynmarvel) April 17, 2018
when u wanna support the upcoming mulan remake bc disney cast a gorgeous, talented actress who's actually chinese to play mulan but they're also replacing bisexual icon li shang with a random misogynistic dude who'll overshadow mulan's journey & add 0 good elements to the story pic.twitter.com/N88ZKz5am8— gabi (@harleivy) April 17, 2018
disney: hey guys the sidekick Le Fou in BaTB is gay!! we're progressive!!— A SAFE SPACE FOR BUFF DADS (@xfwipsx) April 16, 2018
disney: literally erases a main character from the series they're rebooting bcuz he was too closely associated w/ bisexuality, making him instead a 'rival' character that ONLY feels romance for GIRL mulan
disney might be removing shang from the mulan liveaction remake but he'll ALWAYS be a bisexual icon in the animated movie and theres not a damn thing they can do about it and guess what? animations are forever gonna be superior to live action movies anyway. we stay winning gays. pic.twitter.com/ypLxqoIEW0— gabi (@harleivy) April 17, 2018