Disney’s live-action remake of “Mulan” is being heavily criticized for filming scenes in China’s controversial Xinjiang Province, where Beijing is accused of human rights abuses against Uighur Muslim people.
The film is already catching backlash from pro-democracy advocates after its star, Chinese-born actress Liu Yifei, expressed her support on social media of police in Hong Kong amid widespread violent clashes against pro-democracy demonstrators. The post led to the hashtag #BoycottMulan becoming popular.
However, the latest controversy surrounding the film, which was released on Sept. 4 on the Disney+ streaming platform, has to do with a special thanks offered to government entities in Xinjiang for allowing some of the film’s scenes to be shot in the area. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney thanks eight government entities in its film credits, including the public security bureau in the city of Turpan, where more than a dozen “re-education camps” are said to be holding Uighurs in extrajudicial detention.
The company also thanked the publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uighur Autonomy Region Committee, the Chineses Communist Party’s agency that’s allegedly responsible for producing state propaganda about its efforts to detain Uighurs in the region, according to the outlet.
Disney did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Xinjiang has been the epicenter of a debate about how China treats its Muslim minorities. Many Uighur residents have been detained in internment camps where they are reportedly subject to forced political indoctrination, forced labor and forced sterilization.
According to Reuters, China's foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, was asked about the film shooting in Xinjiang and responded with a denial of the existence of re-education camps, instead calling the facilities there vocational and educational institutions and reportedly blamed anti-China forces for smearing its Xinjiang policy.
“Mulan,” which was made for an estimated $200 million, is a remake of the 1998 animated film about a young Chinese woman who pretends to be a man in order to spare her elderly father from mandatory military service. It was originally supposed to be released in theaters at the end of March but was one of the many movies pushed back seemingly indefinitely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company ultimately decided to forego the traditional theatrical release of the film and release it on Disney+ for an additional $30.