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Tzi Ma believes 'Mulan' will help combat rising anti-Asian sentiments triggered by COVID-19

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Liu Yifei as Mulan/© 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.(LOS ANGELES) — While Disney’s live action adaptation of Mulan did not open in theaters as originally planned and instead went straight to streaming, its arrival couldn’t have come at a better time.

Tzi Ma, who plays Mulan’s father in the epic action movie, tells ABC Audio that the story, which is steeped in Chinese culture, could very well be an antidote of anti-Asian racism in the U.S. triggered by COVID-19. 

“We take a lot of things for granted, for the fact that we think we know…what everybody goes through, what the other culture is about,” said Ma as to how Mulan introduces Chinese culture to a broader audience. “[It will] shed light on a culture that really values everything that any person on this globe holds dear.”

While Ma, 58, is admittedly disappointed that the audience will not experience Mulan on the big screen, he says there is a “silver lining” to the film going straight to streaming services.

“At home, you can view it many times,” the Leo Award nominee explained. “You can look at again and you start talking to your kids about what’s important.  What’s your contribution [and] how should you contribute as a member of society.”

No matter how one decides to experience Mulan, Ma is looking forward to what lessons the audience — not just children — take in from the movie.

“It covers the woman’s journey, you know, not just Mulan herself. Also really gives you a glimpse of all the Asian men who are around Mulan in her regiment, her brigade,” the actor explained. “I think it’s much more powerful than anyone can really imagine.  I was surprised, personally.” 

Mulan, based on the 1998 Disney animated film of the same name, is available to watch now on Disney+.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.


By Megan Stone & Jason Nathanson
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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