Fans call on Disney 'not to whitewash' Mulan

Updated: 2015-04-14 10:50


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Fans call on Disney 'not to whitewash' <EM>Mulan</EM>

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

Hollywood has a history of casting Caucasian actors for its live-action adaptation of animated hits where the race of the animated protagonist is anything but white.

American actor Mickey Rooney portrayed the role of Mr. Yunioshi, the Japanese neighbor of Holly Golightly (played by Audrey Hepburn) in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's. In last year's blockbuster hit Exodus: Gods and Kings, Christian Bale took on the role of an Egyptian prince. Scarlett Johansson signed to play the role of Motoko Sanagi, the Asian protagonist in Japanese sci-fi animation Ghost in the Shell, which is schedule to open in 2017.

In the petition, Molnar states that whitewashing isn't just a target for the most politically correct; it is a problem that affects our children.

"The scariest thing about whitewashing is how easy it is to ignore if it isn't overtly affecting you—despite how far-reaching the effects really are, especially in media and entertainment aimed at children," said Molnar.

Molnar, who is a Disney fan, noted there have been "important strides" in recent years in movies like Big Hero 6, Book of Life, and the upcoming Moana. But the petition is about initiating systemic changes in filmmaking.

"Directors, investors and moviegoers need to work together to bring about a permanent, lasting change. And with a live action Mulan in development, Disney has the potential to really make a difference in this fight."

"Mulan's a girl worth fighting for - and we need to make sure Disney knows it," Molnar added.