Why You Should Boycott Disney’s Mulan (2020)

Credit for this image: (Mulan, Caro Niki, Walt Disney Studios, 2020)

Credit for this image: (Mulan, Caro Niki, Walt Disney Studios, 2020)

Ameena Farooqui, Editor

Many families have been excited for the highly anticipated live action remake of Mulan. However the movie was not released without its fair amount of controversy. The issue? The treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region, a region in which some of the film was shot.

Attention was first called to this issue when critics and fans noticed the credits in Mulan, where it was shown a “Special Thanks” to the “Publicity Department of CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Committee” and the Bureau of Public Security in Turpan. In all, eight government organizations in China’s Xinjiang Province were thanked. The problem– these government organizations do not shy away from human rights violations regarding millions of Uyghur Muslims being forced into “re-education camps”, as labeled by China.

China claims these “re-education camps” are “to improve security”, however reports of human rights abuses entailing–forced labor, forced sterilization and abortions, and indoctrination have been brought to light.

In response to this criticism, Disney’s head of finance, Christine McCarthy, has hit back at critics saying that only a small part of Mulan was shot in the Xinjiang Province. “The real facts are that Mulan was primarily shot — almost in entirety — in New Zealand,”. “In an effort to accurately depict some of the unique landscape and geography of the country of China for this period drama, we filmed scenery in 20 different locations in China. It’s common knowledge that, in order to film in China, you have to be granted permission. That permission comes from the central government. So, in our credits, it recognized both China and locations in New Zealand. I would just leave it at that, but it has generated a lot of issues for us.” Disney has yet to directly comment and respond to the issue.

Enough attention was brought to the matter that it has even prompted members of Congress to send a letter to Disney questioning the affair. Their response/letter entails… Disney’s apparent cooperation with officials of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) who are most responsible for committing atrocities — or for covering up those crimes — is profoundly disturbing,” the letter reads, “The decision to film parts of Mulan in the XUAR, in cooperation with local security and propaganda elements, offers tacit legitimacy to these perpetrators of crimes that may warrant the designation of genocide.” The letter, that has been signed by multiple members of Congress, questions the extent of Disney’s knowledge and awareness of the treatment of Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Province prior and during filming. 

In reality many people are unaware of the cultural genocide occurring in the Xinjiang Province. However before you choose to purchase the movie keep in mind that you are also potentially complicit in the mass incarnation of Muslim Uyghurs. As perfectly said by Joshua Wong.

In other words, this film was made with the assistance of a government that is openly committing crimes against humanity. As a buyer we should be mindful of the products we consume, at the expense of our morals. Mulan is a beautiful story that reminds us to be “loyal, brave and true.” The Mulan we have all grown up with, would have wanted us to stand up for the values we believe in and what is morally right.