17th March 2023 – (Hollywood) Disney+ has come under fire in Taiwan after making a controversial change to a key character in its TV adaptation of Gene Luen Yuan’s award-winning graphic novel “American Born Chinese.” The streaming service has been accused of altering the nationality of the character Wei-Chen Sun from Taiwanese to Chinese, prompting outrage from fans of the book.
“American Born Chinese” tells the story of a Chinese immigrant named Jin Wang and his struggles to adjust to life in the United States. In the book, Wei-Chen Sun is a Taiwanese immigrant who becomes Jin’s friend and confidant, helping him navigate the challenges of adolescence.
However, in the Disney+ adaptation, Wei-Chen’s nationality has been changed to Chinese, sparking criticism from viewers in Taiwan who have accused the company of erasing their cultural identity. A petition has been launched calling for the character’s Taiwanese nationality to be restored, with many fans expressing their disappointment and frustration on social media.
The controversy has reignited discussions about the representation of Taiwanese identity in popular media, with many people arguing that Taiwan is often overlooked or misrepresented in favour of China. Some have accused Disney+ of pandering to the Chinese market by altering the character’s nationality, while others have called for greater sensitivity and respect towards Taiwan and its culture.