Disney Under Fire for Cozying Up to China with Newest Movie


Disney’s live-action remake of its animated 1998 film “Mulan” has been criticized for filming in and thanking the government entities in Xinjiang, the location of alleged large-scale human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims.

“Mulan” was released on Disney Plus on Friday and viewers noticed a “special thanks” in the film’s credits to eight government entities in Xinjiang, including the public security bureau in the city of Turpan where China is believed to operate “re-education camps” for Uighurs, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

The credits also thank the “publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uighur Autonomy Region Committee,” the Communist Party agency responsible for propaganda efforts in the region.

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“What’s wrong with thanking Xinjiang? Well, More than a million Muslims in Xinjiang, mostly of the Uighur minority, have been imprisoned in concentration camps,” journalist Isaac Stone Fish tweeted.

“Disney worked with regions where genocide is occurring, and thanked departments that are helping implement it.”

The Xinjiang province is said to be home to Chinese “re-education” camps where prisoners are allegedly taught Chinese songs and communist slogans while living under horrific conditions.

“The food was bad, there weren’t enough hours for sleep and the hygiene was atrocious,” escaped prisoner Sayragul Sauytbay told Haaretz in October 2019.

“The result of it all was that the inmates turned into bodies without a soul.”

Prisoners were also reportedly tortured and used for medical testing, according to Sauytbay.

Activist Joshua Wong accused Disney of “kowtowing” to China because of the movie’s ties to Xinjiang, Reuters reported.

“We urge people around the world to boycott the new Mulan movie,” he said.

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The film was shot in 20 different locations in China, including the Mingsha Shan desert and Tuyuk Valley.

The production team also spent months in Xinjiang doing research on the locations for the film, according to Architectural Digest.

“Mulan” reportedly cost $200 million to produce and its release was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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It had previously faced controversy when actress Liu Yifei, who plays Mulan, posted a pro-police comment on Chinese social media platform Weibo at the height of Hong Kong violence, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

The hashtag #BoycottMulan trended on Twitter as her action was seen as supporting police brutality.

“I think it’s obviously a very complicated situation and I’m not an expert,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.

“I just really hope this gets resolved soon.”

The Western Journal reached out to Disney for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith