Calls to boycott “Mulan” have grown louder this week as people discovered that Disney had filmed the live-action remake in China’s Xinjiang autonomous region, where over a million Uyghurs are believed to have been detained.
The discovery emerged in the film’s final credits, which thanked government entities such as the publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Committee and the public security bureau in Turpan (a prefecture-level city southeast of Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital).
Mulan specifically thank the publicity department of CPC Xinjiang uyghur autonomous region committee in the credits.
You know, the place where the cultural genocide is happening.
— Jeannette Ng 吳志麗 (@jeannette_ng) September 7, 2020
The CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Committee is reportedly responsible for producing state propaganda in the region.
Meanwhile, Turpan’s public security bureau oversees “reeducation camps,” China expert Adrian Zenz told the BBC.
Last October, President Donald Trump blacklisted that bureau and other police organizations in Xinjiang, forbids U.S. companies to sell or supply them products, according to The New York Times.
Zenz said that Turpan is the first site of such camps in the region, having done reeducation work as early as August 2013.
Disney explicitly thanks the Public Security Bureau of Turpan municipality for their help in making Mulan (they call Xinjiang “Northwest China” & pretend Uyghurs dont exist).
Turpan PSB runs at least 14 detention facilities that are designed to extrajudicially detain minorities. https://t.co/tvTJchNsBV
— Nathan Ruser (@Nrg8000) September 7, 2020
Nathan Ruser, a researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, noted that Turpan’s public security bureau runs at least 14 camps “that are designed to extrajudicially detain minorities.”
While a backlash is only beginning to gain momentum, Disney’s consideration of Xinjiang as a filming location had been out for some time.
In 2017, “Mulan” director Niki Caro posted a photo of a desert landscape on Instagram, which she tagged to be in “Asia/Urumqi.”
“Niki Caro is silent on the genocide that is occurring in the land she filmed this picture, silent like the whole world,” a user commented under the post. “Shame on you. How can you sleep at night knowing that this has not only happened when you were filming, but to this day occurring?”
The move to boycott “Mulan” began last year after lead actor Liu Yifei voiced support for Hong Kong police amid protests against the city’s controversial extradition bill.
As the film launched on Disney Plus and some theaters last week, a fresh wave of backlash from the so-called Milk Tea Alliance — a loose coalition of pro-democracy activists from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand — and others have gained traction.
It just keeps getting worse! Now, when you watch #Mulan, not only are you turning a blind eye to police brutality and racial injustice (due to what the lead actors stand for), you’re also potentially complicit in the mass incarceration of Muslim Uyghurs. #BoycottMulan https://t.co/dAMgZ6PWTD
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 😷 (@joshuawongcf) September 7, 2020
Feature Image Screenshots via Walt Disney Studios