“I support the Hong Kong police. You can all attack me now. What a shame for Hong Kong,” she posted on Weibo, a Twitter-like Chinese social media platform.
Immediately, people began posting #BoycottMulan on Twitter, which is banned in China. Hours later, the hashtag was trending in Hong Kong and the United States. Twitter users accused the actress of supporting police brutality and noted that she’s an American citizen.
“Liu is a naturalized American citizen. It must be nice. Meanwhile she pisses on people fighting for democracy,” one person tweeted.
But on the Chinese internet and in state media it’s been a different story. On those platforms, the actress has received considerable support.
“As the hashtag #Mulan was once topped Twitter’s worldwide trend, these naysayers only want to use the popularity of the film to smear the Hong Kong police,” Li Qingqing wrote in the newspaper. “The criticism is not simply targeted at a film. It is a malicious personal attack bordering on racism.”
Li, meanwhile, said accounts tweeting in favor of the boycott should be suspended.
“In the story of Mulan,” one meme shared by several posters said, “she fights for her family and country in case it’s been divided by others.”