Petition to prevent Disney's Mulan from 'whitewashing' reaches 90,000

A still from Mulan

A petition to get Disney to cast an Asian actor to play Mulan in an upcoming live action remake has reached 90,000 signatures.

Although no casting announcement's been made, the document's creator says it's to try to prevent so-called whitewashing.

The term's used to describe the replacing of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) literary heroes with white stars.

In the past more diverse faces have been relegated to supporting roles.

Ben Kingsley and Christian Bale

Mulan, released in 1998 by Disney, follows the story of a Chinese girl who secretly fights in a war disguised as a man.

The animated classic is to be turned into a live action remake by Sony.

Other Disney favourites including The Jungle Book and Cinderella have been given the same treatment.

Natalie Molnar, who launched the anti-whitewashing Petition Site page, wrote: "Whitewashing, the practice of casting white Caucasian actors and actresses in roles originally meant to be characters of colour, is all too common in Hollywood.

"The Last Airbender, Pan, the upcoming Ghost in the Shell adaptation, and many, many others have demonstrated this problem.

Nina Simone
Image caption Zoe Saldana (right) received online abuse after being cast in a biopic about singer Nina Simone (left)

"Some whitewashed only the main cast members, leaving them inexplicably the only Caucasians among populations (including supposed blood relatives), while others hired white extras as well except possibly a token [Person of Colour].

"The character, story and fans deserve the best retelling of the story Disney can produce and although the film was only announced 30 March [2015] this disturbing trend of whitewashing in big-budget movies can't get a chance to take root in Mulan as well."

Tweet sent by Zoe Saldana

The subject of whitewashing is a hot topic in the film industry.

Avatar star Zoe Saldana recently received online abuse after being cast as singer Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic.

Many felt that Saldana wasn't dark-skinned enough or had the right facial features.

Via Twitter, the official Nina Simone account, made it clear they it was not happy with Saldana getting the part.

Find us on Instagram at BBCNewsbeat and follow us on Snapchat, search for bbc_newsbeat