Making Mulan Right, and the Limits of On-Screen Representation

by Oanh-Nhi Nguyen and Mark Tseng Putterman

When a leaked script revealed that Disney planned to center its live-action Legend of Mulan film around a white merchant who comes to “white knight” the hero of China, the outrage was swift and fierce. After thousands signed 18MillionRising’s petition, Disney quickly responded to assure fans that all major characters would be cast as Chinese. “Don’t worry,” one patronizing headline went so far as to say, everything’s going to be fine. And by and large, the once-raging fire of #MakeMulanRight has cooled to a few glowing embers. Asian America seems to be satisfied to know that Disney won’t turn Mulan into yet another white savior film.

It’s a win, but not exactly the sort of victory you can feel great about. We’ve been through this too many times, haven’t we?

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The Homicide of Darrien Hunt: An Update

Last week, we brought you Black Girl Nerds’ account of the shooting of Darrien Hunt, the 22-year old Utah man who was killed by police for “brandishing a sword” that happened to not be a real sword at all. Depressingly, Hunt’s murder is part of an all too common pattern of high-profile killings of unarmed black men by those who have been sworn to protect and serve them.

The death of Darrien Hunt did not happen in a vaccum. In the wake of similar instances in Staten Island with Eric Garner, or Ferguson with Michael Brown, and Ohio with John Crawford1 — and these cases are just from this summer — the mainstream media and society in general is paying attention more than they ever have in the past.

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American Girl: We Want an Asian American Doll

Recently, the American Girl company announced it was “archiving” several of its characters, including the African American doll Cecile and the Asian American Ivy. Discontinuing these two characters means that parents and children looking for diversity on the toy shelves are going to be left wanting.

In response, our friends at 18 Million Rising have started a campaign to ask American Girl to create a new Asian American doll and enlisted two tween sisters, Taylor and Aiden, to lend their voice to the cause. Their open letter and petition is after the jump. (And while they’re at it, American Girl should probably come up with some more black and brown characters too.)

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18Million Rising Wants an Asian American Iron Fist Too

You may recall I wrote this plea to Marvel to cast an Asian American actor as Iron Fist in the upcoming Netflix series. Well, our friends at 18million Rising picked up on the post and asked me to help them craft a petition to go to the heads of Marvel Entertainment and Netflix.

Big ups to everyone at 18MR for even considering the cause. Not sure how much good it’ll do, but it’s worth a shot, no?

Check after the jump for the write up from 18MR.

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Sexism at New York Comic-Con

So New York Comic-Con was held a couple weekends back, and while head-NOC-in-charge Keith was holding it down at the Epic Proportions/SIUniverse booth, there were some shenanigans going on down on the con floor.

Apparently, a camera crew from a local cable show called “Man Banter” got in to the convention hall on SiriusXM credentials and proceeded to racially and sexually harass any and every woman they could find. From cosplayers to journalists to comics professionals, if you were a woman — and got caught in Man Banter’s crosshairs — you were gonna get harassed. Heidi has a roundup of first person accounts from the con over at The Beat.

Our friends at 18 Million Rising have put together a petition to demand SiriusXM fire Mike Babchik, the producer who used his credentials to get his cable access crew into the show. They’ve met about 75% of the signatures needed to meet their goal of 2,000. Info about the petition — and a link if you want to add your name — is available after the jump.

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