GOP lawmakers want answers from Disney on Mulan, China

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Top Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee are criticizing Disney for filming parts of the live-action remake of Mulan near the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. 

In a letter to Disney CEO Robert Chapek and Executive Chairman Robert Iger on Monday, the lawmakers said the film was shot near forced labor camps that have targeted Uighur Muslims and other Muslim minority groups. 

They also questioned why the film thanked Chinese institutions associated with the Chinese Communist Party despite the CCP’s role in human rights abuses in the region. 

“Despite universally-recognized abuses occurring in Xinjiang, the film credits offered special thanks to over a dozen Chinese institutions that assisted with filming, including four Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda departments in the XUAR,” the letter said. 

It was signed by Rep. James Comer (Ky.), the panel’s top Republican, and the panel’s subcommittee ranking members. 

“These credits include the Turpan Municipal Bureau of Public Security, a CCP-run agency actively facilitating and orchestrating human rights abuses and the genocide of the Uyghur people. Last October, the Trump Administration put the Bureau ‘on a blacklist forbidding U.S. companies to sell or supply products to them,’” the letter said.

The lawmakers argued that by using CCP agencies, Disney was failing to condemn the abuses in the region.

“The CCP is systematically working to exterminate the presence of Uyghur culture and religion by incarcerating over a million people. Recently uncovered evidence shows the CCP is also conducting mass forced sterilizations of women, forced abortions, and utilizing mandatory invasive birth control measures to reduce family size among the Uyghur people,” the letter said. 

“Utilization of CCP agencies perpetrating this genocide, such as the Turpan Municipal Bureau of Public Security, implicitly supports such crimes. Disney’s decision to film Mulan in Xinjiang and use CCP-run entities is inapposite and counters the company’s commitment to ‘provid[e] comfort, inspiration, and opportunity to children and families around the world.’”

The group went on to slam Disney for allowing the filming to take place in the region after Iger’s remarks that it would be “very difficult” for the company to film in Georgia once that states’ new law restricting abortion was approved by the legislature. 

“Perhaps more surprising than Disney’s decision to film Mulan in Xinjiang is its recent contemplation to put a moratorium on all filming in the state of Georgia. Disney appears to have taken a firm stand against the lives and rights of the unborn in favor of the right of the CCP to commit genocide against the Uyghurs and force sterilizations on Uyghur women,” they continued. 

“Disney’s eagerness to partner with CCP groups engaged in such atrocities while taking jobs out of the state of Georgia is disturbing.”

The lawmakers asserted that the United States condemns attacks on religious freedom and calls on the country’s “most admired companies” to follow suit. 

The group then requested a staff-level briefing by Sept. 21 on its decision to move forward with filming. 

The lawmakers said they would like the briefing to include answers on whether “the Walt Disney Company agree the treatment of Uyghur minorities in Xinjiang constitutes genocide,” whether it condones ” the treatment of Uyghur minorities in Xinjiang” and whether other filming locations were discussed in advance of the movie being shot. 

They also inquired into whether anyone raised concerns within the company, whether any contracts were signed with any of the CCP-run agencies, whether anything was received in exchange for receiving a special thanks in the credits and whether the CCP asked for any editorial content control. 

“In addition, please be prepared to explain the disparity between threatening a boycott of Georgia over pro-life laws while continuing to film in China where Uyghur women are being sterilized,” they wrote.  

In addition to Comer, GOP Reps. Jody Hice (Ga.), Glenn S. Grothman (Wis.), Michael Cloud (Texas), Chip Roy (Texas) and Mark Green (Tenn.) signed the letter.

Tags China Chip Roy James Comer Jody Hice Mark Green Mulan Uighur Muslims

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