Jennifer Lawrence being cast as Mulan has caused huge controversy 5 years ago

Jennifer Lawrence being cast as Mulan has caused huge controversy

Jennifer Lawrence is an incredibly talented actress.

At the tender age of 26, she has already been nominated for four Oscars (bagging one for Best Actress in Silver Linings Playbook), won three Golden Globes, one British Academy Award (for American Hustle), as well as a plethora of other individual gongs. She also happens to be the highest-paid actress in the world, with her films grossing over $5 billion worldwide.

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That said, she is not Chinese, nor is she of East Asian extraction. Her ancestors herald from Europe (English, German and Irish), and she is very obviously Caucasian in her looks. It would, therefore, be rather bizarre and wholly inappropriate to cast her in the role of a Far Eastern character. Such a job should go to a talented actor who fits the correct racial profile.

It is therefore somewhat understandable that many on the internet are baulking at the possibility of Lawrence playing the lead role in a planned live-action version of Disney's Mulan. The original animated movie is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, a female warrior from the Southern and Northern Dynasties of China (420–589).

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As much as the outrage is well-intentioned (in terms of promoting diversity and race appropriate casting in Hollywood), it is somewhat misguided in this instance. Everyone is expressing their anger about (and towards) Lawrence over a made-up story. That's because the source of the ire is in fact a parody Twitter account...

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The enraged response from those who took it seriously was immediate, and spread like wildfire...

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In fairness to those taken in by the prank tweet, Hollywood has a long and inglorious history of casting white actors in ethnic minority roles, despite the act that people of colour are grossly underrepresented in the industry.

It has led to a separate petition for the live-action version of Mulan to feature a race appropriate lead, which is fast approaching its 90,000 signature target.

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