Mulan row: US Senators urge Disney CEO to explain why it cooperated with Xinjiang authorities
Washington: U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and colleagues sent a bipartisan letter to The Walt Disney Company’s Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek, inquiring about Disney’s cooperation with Xinjiang’s security and propaganda authorities in the production of the movie Mulan.
For years, reports have surfaced highlighting China’s campaign against Uyghur and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’s (XUAR), read a statement issued on Rubio's website.
In their letter, the members highlight that, “the decision to film parts of Mulan in the XUAR, in cooperation with local security and propaganda elements, offers tacit legitimacy to these perpetrators of crimes that may warrant the designation of genocide.”
Earlier this year, Senator Rubio was joined by 74 members of the Senate and the House in sending a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin urging them to issue a formal determination of the atrocity crimes, including crimes against humanity and genocide against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim ethnic minorities.
Joining Rubio in sending the letter were Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), James Lankford (R-OK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), as well as Representatives James P. McGovern (D-MA), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and Liz Cheney (R-WY).
Rubio is co-chair of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations’ Subcommittee that oversees human rights, and a member of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.
What is Mulan?
Mulan is a 2020 American action drama film produced by Walt Disney Pictures.
It is a live-action adaptation of Disney's 1998 animated film of the same name, based on the Chinese folklore "The Ballad of Mulan".
The film stars Yifei Liu in the title role, alongside Donnie Yen, Tzi Ma, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Ron Yuan, Gong Li, and Jet Li in supporting roles.
It is directed by Niki Caro, with screenplay by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Lauren Hynek, and Elizabeth Martin.
Mulan's Hollywood premiere was held on March 9, 2020.
Originally scheduled to be a wide theatrical release, it was ultimately cancelled in the United States after being delayed multiple times due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Disney instead premiered the film on September 4, 2020, on Disney+ for a premium fee in countries where the service had launched.
It will have a traditional theatrical release in countries without Disney+, where theaters have re-opened.
Who are Uyghur Muslims?
Uyghur Muslims are a Turkic minority ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central and East Asia. It is now widely publicized that their human rights are crushed by China and they were sent to "re-education camps" by the communist regime in Beijing.
The Uyghurs are recognized as native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.
An American representative at the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said in 2018 that the committee had received many credible reports that 1 million ethnic Uyghurs in China have been held in "re-education camps" by the Chinese authorities.