After much controversy, Disney has thankfully announced that Chinese actress Liu Yifei will play the titular role in their live-action Mulan remake.

Liu, who’s English name translates to Crystal Liu, was reportedly chosen out of 1,000 applicants, and has previously starred in martial arts films such as The Forbidden Kingdom alongside Jackie Chan and Jet Li. She is also a notable film star in China, having previously been a brand ambassador for Dior, Garnier and Pantene.

The announcement follows the film’s whitewashing scandal earlier this year, whereby an online petition gained over 100,000 signatures to urge Disney to cast an Asian actress for the lead role.

Many Hollywood productions have faced criticism in the past year due to casting White actors in Asian roles, most notably Scarlett Johansson in the originally Japanese Ghost in the Shell. Similarly, British actor Ed Skrein dropped out of the upcoming Hellboy reboot for playing a character of mixed Asian heritage.

Fans have thus praised Disney for Liu’s casting, stating the company is taking a step in the right direction to tackle whitewashing in the film industry –

Ming-Na Wen, the voice actress of Mulan in Disney’s original 1998 animated feature, also celebrated the casting choice –

With 2019’s The Lion King remake also featuring several people of colour in lead roles, it appears Disney are committed to ensuring their live-action re-tellings of their animated classics are at the forefront of diversity in cinema.