Disney has come under fire for allegedly filming part of the film Mulan in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Moreover, one of the Mulan ending credits says thank you to the Government Security Agency in Xinjiang, China. Walt Disney chief financial officer Christine McCarthy said on September 10th that it is a worldwide practice to express gratitude to countries or local governments that have allowed the companies to make films. However, it made the situation worse, because it is estimated that more than one million people have been detained in the Uygur Reformation Detention Center in Xinjiang.
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is a place where controversy over human rights abuses by Chinese authorities is brewing, while Chinese authorities claim that the camps in Xinjiang are aimed at improving security.
Chinese expert Adrian Zenz told the BBC that the agency in charge is the regional public security bureau in Turpan, which plays a role in the "cultivation" of the Xinjiang Uygur people, and that it is a place to promote national propaganda. It is estimated that as many as 1 million Uygurs have been detained in high-security camps in recent years. The initial evidence of "cultivation" in the Turpan region came in August, 2013.
China dismisses it as "fake news," but testimony of survivors of the camp or leaked documents revealed that prisoners were being detained, brainwashed, and punished.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong voiced criticism on Twitter, saying, "Now, when you watch #Mulan, not only are you turning a blind eye to police brutality and racial injustice (due to what the lead actors stand for), you're also potentially complicit in the mass incarceration of Muslim Uyghurs."
According to Deadline, a U.S. film media outlet, McCarthy appeared at a video conference on media, telecommunications and entertainment hosted by Bank of America on the same day and made the remarks when asked, "Do you think resistance to Mulan could undermine the film's chances of commercial success in China?"
Reuters reported that the Chinese government also banned related reports in the country when Mulan was embroiled in controversy. The film, which cost $200 million (237.6 billion won) to make, was actually aimed at China. If it fails to hit the Chinese market, it will inevitably deal a blow to Disney.
Mulan, one of the biggest films released this year, is about a girl going to war instead of her father. The animation version of the same name, which was released in 1998, has been remade as a live-action movie this time.