Beijing Labels Global Backlash Against Disney’s ‘Mulan’ As US’ Agenda To Malign China

Disney has faced global backlash for shooting its new live-action film ‘Mulan’ in several regions of China, whose government has been accused of severe human rights abuses against Muslim minorities.

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The film’s closing credits have thanked the authorities of the Xinjiang region in northwest China, where about one million people, including mostly Muslim Uighurs, are said to be detained, prompting calls for the boycott of the film.

And according to Global Times, a daily newspaper under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), while criticizing the backlash, labelled the developments as “another manifestation of the extreme ideologies regarding China among US public opinion”.

       “This is another manifestation of the extreme ideologies regarding China among US public opinion. This response also shows how badly American society has labeled its perceptions of Xinjiang. While the producer cast the film in the place the story took place, and thanks relevant organizations for assistance, shouldn’t such a move be encouraged in a civilized and open commercial society? But it has become a problem in American society. This is the biggest problem in the US.” said the paper.

The autonomous territory of Xinjiang, which has been under the control of China since its annexation in 1949,  is home to 11 Muslim minority Uighurs, with many, as per various western media reports, complaining of being detained, interrogated, and beaten up because of their religion.

Since 2017, there were reports that at least a million Uighurs within Xinjiang have been interned in over 85 camps, which are referred by the Chinese government as “Re-education Centres” for the Muslim minorities.

The United States has led a host of other worldly nations, along with human rights groups in criticizing China’s clampdown on ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang, with the detention camps being labelled as a “horrific campaign of repression”. However, China is of the opinion that the detention camps are necessary for improving security.

Mulan, which has already been released on Disney’s streaming service in whereas markets due to the Coronavirus outbreak, is now expected to go through further hurdles after many major media outlets were instructed by Chinese authorities to not cover its Friday release in China, which is the world’s second-largest movie market.

According to Reuters, many media outlets were sent a notice regarding the instructions by the Cyberspace Administration of China, with the reason believed to be the worldwide backlash against the movie’s links with Xinjiang.

On Wednesday (September 09), United States Senator Josh Hawley sent a letter to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, condemning the company for “whitewashing the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities during the production of Mulan”.

Mulan': Thai and Taiwanese Activists Join Calls to Boycott the Movie |  IndieWire
Mulan’: Thai and Taiwanese Activists Join Calls to Boycott the Movie

“For nearly a century, Disney has told stories, produced films, and built theme parks that inspired us, brought us together, and showed us the very best of what American had to offer the world. Your decision to uncritically approve this film’s release rather than apologizing to those harmed by Disney’s actions is reprehensible. Your decision to put profit over principle, to not just ignore the CCP’s genocide and other atrocities but to aid and abet them, is an affront to American values.” said Hawley.

According to the Global Times, the “US political elite” are posing a false picture of China to “mislead American society.”

       “Most importantly, some US political elite have realized that American society is deviating from the correct understanding of China, but they are deliberately reinforcing this deviation, or even lying, to mislead American society. Worse, there is no force in the US to hedge against this move effectively, resulting in political correctness dominating US opinion toward China. Hence, the backlash against Disney. This is a tragedy for the US, the most developed society in the West.”

Disney’s live-action ‘Mulan’, which is based on a Chinese folk story, is a remake of the 1998 animated classic of the same name, and stars big-name Chinese actors – Jet Li, Gong Li, Donnie Yen and Liu Yifei.

Penned By Mansij Asthana