With tensions between Hong Kong and mainland China still running high, people are turning to other sources to try to grab the attention of the world. After Blizzard allegedly sided with China with the Blitzchung Controversy, a new symbol for the Hong Kong resistance appeared.
In the lore of Overwatch, Mei-Ling Zhou is a Chinese climatologist working at Ecopoint Antarctica. She is generally bubbly and cheerful and has since become an unofficial symbol for the Hong Kong resistance. Mei is a scientist, not a fighter, but when the call came for Overwatch to join together, she was one of the few to answer - similar to the citizens of Hong Kong who have stepped up, even though they are not fighters.
Mei as a symbol came about in response to Blizzard's apparent siding with the Chinese government; its swift and overly harsh punishment (which has since been lessened, but not overturned) of Blitzchung in response to his call for support of Hong Kong made it look like the company values Chinese profits over free speech. So, using Mei, a character from one of Blizzard's games, is a delightful twist of irony.
However, trouble has come, as fans have pushed the symbol further, demanding that Elise Zhang, the English and Chinese voice actress for Mei, speak out in support of Hong Kong. While Zhang voices the character and is the same nationality, but she is not Mei. It is possible that Zhang may support Hong Kong, but it's safer for her to not voice her opinion. After all, she lives in China, under a brutal government that silences anyone who speaks out against it.
For her own safety, we ask fans to stop asking her to speak out in support of Hong Kong.
Mei is a great symbol of resistance. She represents a lot of facets of the protest and is directly tied to the Blitzchung Controversy. However, the character and actor are separate people, and in this case, must remain separate. Mei is a good symbol for the protestors, but Elsie Zhang is not.
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