We’ve all grown up watching “Mulan”. It is the story of a woman who overcomes systemic oppression to serve her country. And while we’ve all enjoyed the strong female role, but the dream of watching a remake came to a crashing halt when news broke out that parts of the movie were shot at Xinjiang province in China – a place known for its persecution against Muslims.
The message of fighting for one’s rights that is so strongly advocated in Mulan, is overshadowed by Disney’s oversight on the actual oppression of Muslims in China to make its movie.
Washington Post columnist Isaac Stone Fish and several folks on social media pointed out that the end credits on Disney’s Mulan, which was released on VOD over the weekend, feature a “special thanks” to eight government entities in the Xinjiang region.
As pointed out by the New York Times, this is the area where several detention camps targeting the Turkish-speaking Uighur people are located. It’s believed that over one million Muslims (mainly from the Uighur minority) have been detained in these camps, with reports of brutal “reeducation” techniques, forced sterilization, and even death.
Even though it is unclear how much of the movie was filmed in the region known for its genocide against Muslims – there are reports of the production team scouting the region before filming began. Plus, the fact that several government entities in the region were thanked indicates that some form of cooperation was achieved.
Is this the only controversy that has surrounded the movie?
No. Earlier this year, the film’s star, Liu Yifei, faced calls for a boycott earlier this year after she openly supported the Hong Kong police crackdown on pro-democracy protesters last summer. Liu has since distanced herself from her comments, telling Entertainment Weekly that it’s a “very complicated situation, and I’m not an expert.”
The detention camps in Xinjiang have been called some of the greatest human rights violations in recent memory—which made it shocking for some that Disney would not only scout and possibly film in the region, but also thank propaganda departments and security teams that may be party to those abuses against Muslim people in China.
Despite the justified hue and cry on social media, Disney has not yet released a statement. They better call on the big PR guns, because this situation will not be easy to walk out of.
The movie has been released on Disney+ for $30, and is set to be released openly on the platform in December.