With Disney's Mulan live-action remake hitting our screens this month, we absolutely cannot wait to see our favorite Disney film come to life on the big screen. However, it's been revealed that Disney has made some pretty big changes to the storyline, and LGBTQ+ fans, in particular, aren't happy.
Mulan is often thought of as the most bisexual of all the Disney films (though it's never officially addressed explicitly in the film). This is because Mulan and her love interest, Li Shang, appear to have a romantic connection when Shang thinks that Mulan is a man named Ping, before officially getting together once it's revealed that Mulan is actually a woman.
Though Disney never actually made it clear that Shang was bisexual, plenty of fans think that it's subtly hinted at, and Shang is often praised as Disney's original queer character.
However, Disney producers have now announced that Shang's character won't be appearing in the live-action remake. As Shang is Mulan's Captain in the army, producers have decided that Mulan's relationship with her commanding officer is inappropriate following the #MeToo movement.
"I think particularly in the time of the #MeToo movement, having a commanding officer that is also the sexual love interest was very uncomfortable and we didn’t think it was appropriate," producer Jason Reed told Collider.
Reed added that instead Shang will be split into two characters—one will be Commander Tung who is Mulan's mentor in the army, and the second will be Honghui who is her equal in the squad.
Fans think that this change to the storyline is a clear example of bisexual erasure, as Shang and Ping/Mulan have a clear connection, regardless of gender, throughout the film. Bisexual characters are under-represented in films and TV, and characters who are suggested to be bisexual or pansexual often aren't explicitly labeled as so.
Plus, as one Twitter user pointed out, "Li Shang's entire arc is about realizing that Mulan isn't lesser than because she's a woman, he learns and grows because of her." Many have also pointed out that there was nothing inappropriate about Mulan and Shang's relationship in the original film.
This isn't the only controversy to come out of the Mulan remake. Fans were devastated to hear that Mulan's sidekick Mushu the dragon also won't be making an appearance. Plus, Liu Yifei, the Chinese-American actress playing Mulan came under fire for voicing support for Hong Kong police during the violent protests, leading some fans to boycott the film.
We're not sure what to expect from Mulan now that Mulan and Shang's relationship won't be a central part of the script. Producers have previously explained that, while the film will still include the original animation's music, it won't take musical form. So basically, is it worth seeing if Shang doesn't sing "I'll Make a Man Out of You?" Debatable.
Cosmopolitan UK have contacted Disney for comment.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.