Global activists call for boycott of Disney’s Mulan over filming in Xinjiang

After initially rejecting the existence of the camps, Beijing has described them as vocational schools aimed at dampening extremism and violence through education and job training.

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The Walt Disney film Mulan is facing calls for a boycott, after authorities in China’s autonomous region of Xinjiang – where around one million Muslim Uighurs are allegedly being held in internment camps – were thanked in the film’s concluding credits.

After the movie was launched last Friday on Disney’s live streaming platform, fans observed the company offering a “special thanks” to eight government agencies in Xinjiang.

South Koreans rally for a boycott of Disney’s “Mulan” in Seoul. (Getty Images)(Getty Images)

According to media reports before its release, Mulan was filmed across 20 locations across China in 2018, counting the Mingsha Shan desert, part of Xinjiang, and the Tuyuk Valley, an oasis village east of Turpan.

Among the agencies thanked in the credits were the Chinese Communist Party’s “publicity department,” which is in charge of propaganda in Xinjiang and the public security bureau in Turpan – where several of China’s concentration camps have been documented.

Thai student activist Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal and other fellow activists made an appearance at a movie theatre with signs read ‘#BanMulan’ and ‘#MilkTeaAlliance.’

China has faced severe criticism over its Turkic-Muslim minority’s treatment, with both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International saying there are around one million Muslims held at the camps.

After initially rejecting the existence of the camps, Beijing has described them as being vocational schools which are aimed at dampening extremism and violence through education and job training.

However, foreign media and rights groups have reported that official documents and satellite images show the facilities are equipped and run like prisons. 

There have also been accounts that the Chinese authorities have imposed sterilization and birth control on Uighur women to curb the population. Imposing such measures which are intended to limit births within a community is a part of the United Nations’ definition of genocide.

‘Potentially complicit.’

Based on a 2,000-year-old Chinese legend, Mulan tells the tale of a girl who disguises herself as a boy to join the Chinese Imperial Army to fight the invading Huns and save her father from going into battle.

The film was already facing boycott calls after the actress who plays Mulan’s character, Liu Yifei, expressed solidarity with the Hong Kong Police Force amid pro-democracy protests. Demonstrators accused police of using excessive force to quell demonstrations.

South Koreans rally for a boycott of Disney’s “Mulan” in Seoul. (Getty Images)

Joshua Wong, head of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, said the latest revelation was yet another reason to boycott Mulan, saying that viewers could become “potentially complicit in the mass incarceration” of Muslim Uighurs.

Human rights experts have demanded Disney to be transparent about its dealings with authorities in Xinjiang.

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Disney had shared its script with Chinese authorities and consulted with local advisers, and taken input from China’s film board, all to guarantee a release in China, according to the Wall Street Journal.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.

  • What about kashmir and syria iraq libya. Jo hollywood movies pe movies bana raha hai. China ko serf is leya ye kar rahe hain because they cant fight them in other fields now.

  • Extremism used to be a huge problem in china’s xinjiang region till 2016 and there were multiple terrorist in xinjiang until 2016. Vocational camps and extra security has put an end to extremism in xinjiang. Unskilled people who are not contributing to the society are taught valuable skills in a period of 2 years and they are paid for learning! Yes they are paid a small amount but usually Vocational camps graduates earn a good amount after they complete the course.The only downside of vocational camps is that the people are separated from their families but they reunite after 2 years. Instead of criticising vocational camps, the world should follow china’s success in eradicating extremism.


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