In a letter released Sept. 9, Hawley posed nine questions for Disney executives in regard to the studio’s collaboration with different Chinese government bureaus while the movie was being filmed in Xinjiang. The senator gave the studio until the end of the month to reply.
Questions three and four of the letter probed at the help Disney received from Chinese authorities, particularly the Turpan Municipal Bureau of Public Safety and various publicity departments of the Chinese Communist Party. According to Hawley, the publicity departments are “tasked with spreading disinformation about the atrocities in Xinjiang” in order to deflect blame away from the central government. The senator also asked if Disney had compensated these Chinese offices or if it planned to do so in the future.
Mulan’s end credits gave “special thanks” to the Turpan public safety bureau, which was reported to be in charge of the Uighur concentration camp in the city.
Meanwhile, the seventh question in Hawley’s letter challenged Disney to “sever its relationships with the Chinese Communist Party” in light of its human rights violations in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and other places.
The senator also urged Disney to remove Mulan from its Disney+ streaming platform to “avoid any further glorification or validation” of the atrocities in Xinjiang, and donate any profits from the movie to organizations dedicated to fighting human rights violations in the region.
The company released Mulan in cinemas across China but canceled any plans for a theatrical release in the United State. Instead, the movie was released Sept. 4 on Disney+ for an extra $30 fee on top of the monthly subscription rate.
Hawley condemned Disney for putting “profit over principle” and enabling the atrocities in Xinjiang, calling the media giant’s actions “an affront to American values.” He also criticized Disney’s move to thank Chinese authorities “responsible for imprisoning, torturing and forcibly sterilizing” the Uighur people as crossing the line “from complacency into complicity.”
Prior to the movie’s release, it had already courted controversy after Liu Yifei, the actress playing the titular role, expressed her support towards Hong Kong police – who were accused of brutality towards protesters. The resulting backlash led to calls on Twitter to boycott the movie.
According to Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, patronizing the movie is akin to “turning a blind eye to police brutality” and being “potentially complicit” in the incarceration of Uighurs in concentration camps.
Aside from its condonation of atrocities towards the Uighurs in China, Disney has been pursuing “profit over principle” as mentioned by Hawley – even pushing anti-American values.
In 2019, it threatened to stop filming in Georgia after the state passed a bill that banned abortion. Disney CEO Bob Iger remarked that “it would be very difficult” to continue filming there, adding that he no longer saw it practical to shoot movies there if the law takes effect. Disney had previously filmed two box office hits – Avengers: Endgame and Black Panther – in the state.
Arizona Sen. Tom Cotton referenced this 2019 threat in a recent tweet condemning the media giant, saying that it had “no problem” filming in the middle of Chinese concentration camps but threatened Georgia for “passing a law protecting the unborn.”
Learn more about Disney’s promotion of anti-American values for profit at Evil.news.