Disney did not respond to requests from CNN Business for its media interrogation line, and comments to American press officials about the film and credits. It is unclear how many shoots “Mulan” can take in Xinjiang, although people working on the film have stated on social media and in interviews that they saw and filmed the locations there.
“There are no so-called concentration camps in Xinjiang,” said China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. “The establishment of vocational skills education and training centers in Xinjiang by law is a fruitful effort and proactive exploration for preventive terrorism and de-radicalization.”
But the connection between Xinjiang and “Mulan” has ignited widespread criticism on social media since the company’s streaming service Disney + was released on Friday. Advocates of human rights are now calling on Disney to come to any agreement with the Chinese government for filming in the region.
A film plagued by failures
Disney expected “Mulan” to be a major success at the lucrative Chinese box office, now the second largest in the world. The company last year talked about its dedication to making the film culturally accurate – reported in Chinese state media.
“We initially spent a lot of time with scholars, experts and people in the field. We spent a lot of time in China,” said Sean Bailey, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production at the Disney Expo event. Last year, the state-run news agency reported to Xinhua. Bailey said the studio not only brought in a Chinese cast as a Chinese producer to film with them, but the outlet said.
In August 2019, pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong called for a boycott of “Mulan”, when the lead actor expressed support for the Hong Kong police on his social media account.
And it is also unclear whether the film will win over Chinese audiences, who were already wintry towards the original animated version because of the westernized version and unfaithful retailing of the original legend.
Call for transparency
In Xinjiang, there have been allegations of human rights abuses in previous years.
In recent years, the Xinjiang government has allegedly launched a major campaign to imprison and re-educate Muslim minorities in the region, particularly the larger Uygar population.
Adrian Zenz, a prominent academic Victims of the Communism Foundation, which helped break Xinjiang’s major stories, said that in 2013 the earliest documented case of a re-education center in the region was in trumpet.
Zhenj said that while it was possible that Disney was not aware of the increasing number of detention centers set up in Xinjiang, it was impossible to recall the widespread persecution in the region.
“By the end of 2016 there were police stations and outposts in Xinjiang that would not be missed,” he said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao dismissed Zenz’s claims and accused him of making a living through “making rumors related to Xinjiang and defaming China”. He also claimed that in Xinjiang “there were no cases of violence or terrorism for more than three consecutive years”.
And Stone Fish, partner of the Asia Society, said that many companies were accustomed to making small concessions to the ruling Communist Party to reach the Chinese market.
“The studios feel that they need to make these agreements to be in Beijing, but you can censor a little to get your films to the Chinese market, you can bring Chinese movies that are of poor quality or due to publicity The reason should not be in the states. Elements in the states. And you can do that and maintain your integrity, mostly intact, “he said.
“You don’t have to take these extra steps that Disney is taking, and they are emitting right for it.”