“Who Would Be the Worst White Mulan?”

“there’s already a preemptive petition to prevent a white actress from being cast in the lead role. This petition, which currently has over 20,000 signatures, demands that Disney’s producers cast an Asian actor as Mulan instead of whitewashing the movie, as is Hollywood’s tradition.”

So perfect.

I have no real faith in Disney ever being a thing about race; I recently saw Princess and the Frog (finally) and it was clearly a movie made for a white audience that wants to feel good about seeing a movie with a black princess. The black characters (of which there are four) either die early in the movie, are entirely peripheral to the action, or spend most of the movie as green frogs. And for some reason, even though the woman has darker skin when they are both human (okay), Disney gave her lighter skin as a frog in order to emphasize the gender distinction (which is typical of animated animals).

Wait, no, actually there are two more named black characters I had already forgotten about (actually, not being snarky) — the two voodoo-practitioners! I think one is actually called Voodoo Mamma. If it was really supposed to provide black girls with what Disney movies have provided to white girls (a clear belongingness in American culture, beauty icons, characters to dress up as on Halloween…) there are so many, many different choices that would have been made.

Longer discussion of the Mulan thing (which, let’s be real, I will probably go see because it’s the best movie ever, but I’m providing myself with low expectations): http://hellogiggles.com/controversy-surrounding-mulan/

“To some, casting an Asian actress in Mulan may seem obvious, but Disney and almost every other major film studio have been accused of “whitewashing” characters time and again, opting for white actors of note over relative unknowns of color. Just two years ago, the studio cast Johnny Depp as the Native American character Tonto in its remake of The Lone Ranger. And more recently, critics were not shy about voicing their disdain over Disney’s choice to cast actress Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, another character typically portrayed as a Native American, in this summer’s Peter Pan remake.”