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Disney threatened to boycott Georgia over heartbeat law, filmed ‘Mulan’ near Uighur concentration camps

Viewers of the new 'Mulan' are 'potentially complicit in the mass incarceration of Muslim Uyghurs,' warned Hong Kong pro-democracy Joshua Wong.
Thu Sep 10, 2020 - 10:12 am EST
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September 1o, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) —  Disney filmed Mulan in the region of China where Uighurs are imprisoned in concentration camps and more than a year after its CEO threatened to boycott the state of Georgia for passing a pro-life “heartbeat” bill. 

The Daily Caller drew attention to Disney’s past anti-life stance in the wake of controversy erupting after Mulan’s online release Friday.

A live-action remake of Disney’s 1998 animated film, Mulan tells the story of a girl who disguises herself as a boy to fight in China’s imperial army in the place of her father.

Disney shot parts of the movie in China’s mountainous northwest Xinjiang province, the site of Beijing’s widespread human rights abuses against the Uighur people and other Muslim minorities – and the film’s credits thank eight agencies of China’s communist regime, reported the Guardian.

These include “the public security bureau” in Turpan, a city in eastern Xinjiang where several re-education camps detaining Uighurs have been documented, and the “publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomy Region Committee,” which is the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department in Xinjiang, it reported.  

Moreover, according to the Wall Street Journal, Disney shared its script with Chinese authorities and conferred with Chinese advisers so it could guarantee a cinema release in China, a market it was actively courting with the planning and release of Mulan.

The Daily Caller contrasted this activity to Disney CEO Bob Iger warning in May 2019 that the corporation might boycott Georgia after Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed a law prohibiting abortion if a doctor can detect the unborn baby’s heartbeat. The law took effect this January, but is currently blocked as a court battle over it ensues.

Iger told Reuters then it would be “very difficult” to film in the state once the law was on the books because a lot of people in the movie business wouldn’t want to work there.

The Motion Picture Association of America credits the film industry with creating more than 92,000 jobs in Georgia, which offers tax credits to movie studios, the Daily Caller reported. 

Disney has made several films in the state, including Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame.

Founder of Culture of Life Africa Obianuju Ekeocha also brought up Iger’s threats in response to Georgia’s pro-life bill when she blasted Disney as “evil” on Twitter:

Live Action president Lila Rose had similarly strong words for Disney.

The movie was already a target of a boycott before its release because lead actress Liu Yifei, who plays the titular character, said she supported Hong Kong police in their frequently violent suppression of pro-democracy protesters.

Indeed, Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was among many who took to Twitter to condemn Disney after the credits rolled.

President Xi Jinping’s regime has reportedly imprisoned an estimated one million people from Muslim minorities in extrajudicial internment camps in Xinjiang, the Guardian reported.  

Uighur women “have reported forced sterilisations and birth control as part of a government campaign to suppress birthrates, in what experts have described as ‘demographic genocide’,” it stated.

In 2017, Mulan director Niki Caro posted photos on Instagram from the capital of Xinjiang, and the film’s production team told Architectural Digest that they spent months in the province researching locations, according to the BBC.

The filming took place in 2018, and coincided with China ramping up the building of “reeducation” internment camps in Turpan. Researchers contend the public security bureau in Turpan oversees at least 14 such camps in the area, the Guardian reported.

Human rights advocates are asking Disney to be open about its dealings with China.

“Disney should disclose the details about the human rights due diligence it had conducted — if there was any — before making the decision to film in Xinjiang, what agreements it had made with Xinjiang authorities in order to do the filming, and what assistances it received from authorities,” said Human Rights Watch China researcher Yaqiu Wang.


  bob iger, china, chinese communist party, disney, genocide, georgia, heartbeat bill, heartbeat law, mulan, uighurs

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