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Disney provokes widespread criticism after thanking Xinjiang authorities accused of human rights abuses in "Mulan" credits

“Disney hit by backlash after thanking Xinjiang authorities in 'Mulan' credits”, 8 September 2020

Disney has publicly thanked a Chinese government agency accused of human rights abuses in Xinjiang for its help in making "Mulan" — a revelation that has provoked a storm of criticism online.

Disney (DIS) acknowledges several Chinese government bodies in the credits for the live-action remake of the 1998 animated picture of the same name, but a few in particular have raised red flags: The Xinjiang government's publicity department and the Public Security and Tourism bureaus for Turpan, a city of about 633,400 people just outside Xinjiang's capital Urumqi.

Disney did not respond to a request for comment from CNN Business to its media inquiry line, and to US press officers about the film and the credits. It's not clear how much of "Mulan" may have been shot in Xinjiang, though people who worked on the movie have said on social media and in interviews that they scouted and filmed locations there…

The Turpan Public Security Bureau has been listed by the US government as an organization involved in "human rights violations and abuses" in the region…

… the connections between Xinjiang and "Mulan" have ignited widespread criticism on social media since its release… on Disney+, the company's streaming service. Human rights advocates are now calling on Disney to make public any agreements with the Chinese government over filming in the region.

"[It's] deeply disturbing that Disney thought it was okay to partner with, and also thank, government departments, specifically propaganda departments, and a public security bureau from a region in China that is complicit with genocide," said Isaac Stone Fish, senior fellow at the Asia Society, a New York based non-profit organization focused on raising awareness of Asia…

In August 2019, pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong called for a boycott of "Mulan" after the lead actor expressed support for Hong Kong police on her social media account.

"I support the Hong Kong police. You can all attack me now. What a shame for Hong Kong," Liu Yifei, a Chinese-born US citizen who plays the titular Hua Mulan, posted to her official Weibo account. At the time, Hong Kong police faced allegations of excessive violence against protesters…

Zenz [a leading academic at the Victims of Communism Foundation] said that while it was possible Disney didn't know about the growing number of detention centers set up across Xinjiang, the widespread oppression in the region was impossible to miss…

Yaqiu Wang, a China researcher for Human Rights Watch, called for Disney to disclose what assistance it had received from Xinjiang authorities and what agreements it had made with the regional government…

Part of the following stories

China: 83 major brands implicated in report on forced labour of ethnic minorities from Xinjiang assigned to factories across provinces; Includes company responses

China: 83 major brands implicated in report on forced labour of ethnic minorities from Xinjiang assigned to factories across provinces; Includes company responses

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Disney provokes widespread criticism after thanking Xinjiang authorities accused of human rights abuses in "Mulan" credits