A year ago and again in July, the U.S. Commerce Department sanctioned several Xinjiang entities implicated in human-rights violations and abuses for operating a "campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor, involuntary collection of biometric data, and genetic analyses targeted at Muslim minority groups from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region". We've reached out to Disney for comment, but have not heard a reply.
The Walt Disney film, Mulan, is facing renewed calls for a boycott after authorities in China's westernmost region of Xinjiang, where some one million Muslim Uighurs are being held in camps, were named in the movie's closing credits.
Beijing has long defended the crackdown in Xinjiang as necessary to tackle extremism and terrorism, and said it is in line with Chinese law and worldwide practice, calling accusations of mass detentions a "groundless lie" and "sensational rumor". Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry told reporters Tuesday that some "anti-China forces" have been "smearing" Beijing's policies in Xinjiang. "The establishment of vocational skills education and training centers in Xinjiang in accordance with the law is a useful attempt and active exploration for preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization".
Disney just thanked China for their cooperation in letting them film Mulan within Chinese borders. The Bureau of Public Security has been specifically targeted by the US Government for its violation of human rights in the region.
The movie premiered on Disney+ this past Friday, and some viewers noticed that Disney offered their gratitude to eight government entities in Xinjiang, including the public security bureau in the city of Turpan, where China is said to have over a dozen "re-education camps" in operation. Mulan has grossed almost $6 million (about Rs. 44 crores) at the box office as yet. Bailey added that the studio "not only has a Chinese cast but also brought in a Chinese producer to make the movie with them", the outlet noted.
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The film is already catching backlash from pro-democracy advocates after its star, Chinese-born actress Liu Yifei, expressed her support on social media of police in Hong Kong amid widespread violent clashes against pro-democracy demonstrators. I also support Hong Kong police.
In August, 2019, she shared a post on the Chinese social media service Weibo from pro-government media, which read: "I support Hong Kong's police, you can beat me up now". Disney is releasing the film in cinemas in countries that do not have the streaming platform.
The pandemic, which shut down theatres around the world, has prompted Hollywood studios to experiment with different release strategies.
Even now, its rollout has been stilted.