Comedian's spoofs of Mulan stir debate

Updated: 2015-07-13 15:01


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Comedian's spoofs of Mulan stir debate

A still from the Disney animated film Mulan. [Photo/Agencies]

Debate ensued after a comedy program on Shanghai Oriental TV featured Jia Ling, a famous Chinese female comedian, bantering about Mulan, a traditional patriotic heroine, and portrayed her as an abnormal coward and fool.

Nearly 40,000 comments appeared under the topic on whether the comedian should apologize for the parody on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like Chinese social network. Here we quote pro-and-con comments from two media observers to see how they see the issue.

Do you think it’s proper to spoof a traditional positive heroine?*
  • Yes, no big deal.
  • No, definitely not.
  • It depends.

No one was owed an apology

Comedy was originally a kind of art that allows parody. Take American illustrator Rodney Pike, who uses Mr. Bean in a spoof of the Mona Lisa. No one was asked to offer an apology.

Comedy parody is not to blame, as long as it does not cross any moral or legal line. Instead, spoofing can be developed into a program to relieve stress and give pleasure, as well as a good way to relax and rest, especially in this rapid developing society with fierce competitive pressure.

Spoofing nowadays is popular both at home and abroad. No one would try to ask the Razzies and its Chinese counterpart, the "Golden Crow Awards" to apologize for their joking appraisements. A sound society need the spirit of entertainment and thus can we keep our culture or self-esteem from being ruined or dented.

Zeng Yaxian, an observer on

Vulgar entertainment leads to nothing but moral decay

Entertainment is without limits, but the arts have the bottom line. Considering making people laugh as art is such a misunderstanding. The story of Mulan has inspired a number of Chinese people in the modern era. The Chinese girl-warrior is a strong-willed young woman who is considered a heroine by Chinese people. If comedians are making the audience laugh by distorting the image of such a character, it is therefore not only showing that they've run out of tricks, but also that they are challenging the values of the bottom line. She pleased the audience, but lost the ethics of her profession at the same time.

Liu Xuesong, an observer on