Mulan, Disney’sof a beloved ’90s cartoon classic, critics shared. Some praise its spectacle and while others criticized its mediocre characters and plot. But it also divides social media, and many are calling on you to boycott the new flick . In fact, Disney̵
The boycott revolves around two Chinese issues: the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region – where part of the film was shot – and China’s crackdown on human freedoms in Hong Kong.
As the writer Jeanette Ng stated in a tweet on Monday, the credits in Mulan show “special thanks” to the “advertising department of the CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Committee”. This is the propaganda wing of the ruling Communist Party’s Xianjang government, which is estimated to have forced over a million Uighur Muslims to re-education camps.
The Chinese Communist Party claims to fight religious fundamentalism and separatism and has ordered Uyghur Muslims to these camps to use cheap labor for crimes such as prayer and beard waxing under the guise of re-education and forced Mandarin learning.
The loans are also due to the public security bureau in Turpan, a community in Xinjiang that was sanctioned by the US government last October as part of its human rights violations entity list. Some have tweeted – by the thousands of retweets – that supporting Mulan translates into complicity in these human rights abuses.
Disney CFO Christine McCarthy responded to the controversy, saying the criticism was excessive and that only small portions of the film were shot in Xinjiang.
“The real facts are Mulan was shot mainly – almost entirely – in New Zealand, “she said at a Bank of America virtual conference Thursday, Deadline reports.” To accurately portray some of the country’s unique landscapes and geography for a historical drama, we filmed scenes in 20 different locations in China. It is common knowledge that in order to film in China, you have to get a permit. This permission comes from the central government. “
“Our credits recognized both China and New Zealand locations. I would leave it at that, but it has created a lot of problems for us.”
The other cause for concern is comments from Mulan’s leading actress, Yifei Liu, last August. “I support the Hong Kong police. They can all attack me now. What a shame for Hong Kong,” she wrote on Weibo.
Triggered two months earlier by an extradition law intended to give mainland China courts power over sensitive cases in Hong Kong, the protests in Hong Kong reached new heights when Liu made the declaration on Weibo. Those who opposed the movement often did so, not by directly supporting China, but by joining police demands for an end to violent protests.
“It’s obviously a very complicated situation and I’m not an expert. I hope that all of this will be resolved soon,” she said in a follow-up interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Hong Kong activist and politician Joshua Wong brought up Liu’s comments on Friday as the film opened on Disney Plus, encouraging “all those who believe in human rights to #BoycottMulan”. The tweet has over 27,000 retweets.
Disney was reached for comment but did not respond immediately.