Disney's 'Mulan' criticised for Uighur links

09 Septembre, 2020, 07:51 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Disney criticized for filming ‘Mulan’ in Xinjiang where Uighurs are detained

In August 2019, pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong called for a boycott of Mulan after the lead actor expressed support for Hong Kong police on her social media account. Altogether, Disney thanked four propaganda departments and a public security bureau in Xinjiang, the site of what is deemed some of the worst human rights abuses today. Disney hasn't revealed how many have paid for Mulan on Disney+.

"Mulan", a live-action remake of the 1998 animated hit, was released online Friday after the pandemic prompted Disney to scrub its USA theatrical rollout.

Jeannette Ng, a writer and novelist from the United Kingdom, posted a screenshot of the film credits on social media, noting that Xinjiang was "the place where the cultural genocide is happening".

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney thanks eight government entities in its film credits, including the public security bureau in the city of Turpan, where more than a dozen "re-education camps" are said to be holding Uighurs in extrajudicial detention. But as THR reports about Xinjiang: "Uighur residents have reported being subjected to grueling political indoctrination regimens, forced labor, and forced sterilization - part of an alleged government program to suppress birth rates in the Muslim population".

Wong had earlier called for a boycott of the film following statements from actress Liu Yifei supporting the China-backed government in Hong Kong. The company did not respond to an e-mailed request for comment yesterday.

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When Disney first announced its remake of Mulan, Asian-American audiences who grew up on the 1998 original only had one major concern: no whitewashing.

Last month, Disney said Mulan would skip most theatres and go directly to its Disney+ platform, where it is available for US$30 for USA subscribers.

While Disney has not released the number of users who have watched "Mulan" since its September 4 Disney+ release, downloads of the app between Friday and Sunday increased by 68 per cent from the same period a week prior, according to app analytics firm Sensor Tower.

That release was delayed after Disney's relations with China soured over "Kundun", its 1997 movie based on the life of the exiled Dalai Lama, whom China has branded a risky separatist.

It's unclear how much of Mulan was actually filmed in the Xinjiang region, but there were reports of the production team scouting the region before filming began.

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