Biparty US lawmaker group urged Walt Disney Co CEO Bob Chapek to explain the company’s connection to China’s Xinjiang region’s “security and propaganda” authorities during epic production war live “Mulan”.
Disney’s $ 200 million live-action remake of its animated classic about a female warrior in ancient China has been the subject of controversy for being partially filmed in the Xinjiang region, where China’s crackdown on ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims has been criticized by some governments, including the United States. States and human rights groups.
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“Disney’s apparent cooperation with officials in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) who are most responsible for the commission of atrocities – or for covering up these crimes – is deeply troubling,” the Republican senators and officials wrote. in the Friday letter.
He urged Disney to give a detailed explanation.
The letter was retweeted by the Congressional Executive Commission on China (CCCB), which monitors human rights and the rule of law and submits an annual report to President Donald Trump and Congress.
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Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lawmakers, including former presidential candidate Marco Rubio, a Republican senator who co-chairs the CCCB, said reports of Beijing’s role in detaining Uyghurs in Xinjiang were all over the media before the filming of ” Mulan ”.
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“The decision to film parts of Mulan in cooperation with local security and propaganda elements offers tacit legitimacy to perpetrators of crimes that may justify the designation of genocide. ”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has repeatedly denied the existence of re-education camps in the region, labeling them as professional and educational institutions and accusing what it calls anti-Chinese forces of denigrating its Xinjiang policies.
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Lawmakers also asked Disney about the use of local labor, Uyghurs, or other workers from ethnic minorities, “as well as the due diligence exercised to ensure that no forced labor was not used during production of the film ”.
The film, released on Disney’s streaming service in multiple markets, was released in China on Friday and grossed 46 million yuan ($ 6.7 million) at the box office at 8 p.m. (12:00 p.m. GMT).
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The Trump administration said this week it had prepared orders to block imports of cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang over charges of forced labor.
(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)