After less than a week of its release, the newest Disney movie, Mulan, caused backlash and calls for a Disney boycott. Audience members noticed the credits at the end of the film thanking authorities in the autonomous region Xinjiang, where the Muslim Uyghurs’ genocide continues to take place.
The film tells the story of Hua Mulan, a girl that poses as a male fighter with the Chinese army in order to protect and honor her father. The original animated movie was a Disney success, as Mulan was the first animated feminist character to be portrayed in their line of princesses. Unfortunately for Disney, the new adaptation was not as loved as the original masterpiece.
This is not the first time the movie is causing an uproar. In 2019, the actor Liu Yifei, who plays Mulan, backed Hong Kong police and said she supports the police and their actions against the protestors. It wasn’t long after her statement and the uproar it caused that more calls for boycotting the movie began.
The end credits of the film contained a “thank you” mention to several Chinese government entities in the western region of Xinjiang. This area is an autonomous territory in northwest China and is home to several minority groups, including the Uyghurs.
The Uyghurs are a minority Muslim group who are severely tortured, detained, and even killed by the Chinese government. The government tried for many years to deny all the accusations of organ harvesting, detaining, separating, and torturing of the Uyghur people – but the truth eventually came out to the world. Many documents that emphasize on the “no mercy policy” with Uyghurs were leaked, and some survivors are speaking out about what is really happening inside the concentration camps.
Mihrigul Tursun, a survivor from the concentration camps, told her story of separation from her family, the killing of one of her baby twins, the environment she was kept in, the brainwashing of people in the camps, and all the inhumane conditions she was faced with by the oppressive regime. Her story sparked anger and called for the Chinese government to end the horrific acts happening to the Uyghur people.
Some are comparing the Uyghurs’ crisis to the holocaust. What is happening in Xinjiang is genocide and ethnic cleansing. In her story, Tursun mentioned that inside the concentration camps they are forced to hail the communist party and are brainwashed into forgetting their religion, language, and their heritage. They are also force-injected substance that she later learned is anti-fertility drugs for sterilization.
This is beyond horrifying. For Disney to completely deny such atrocities, and to film some scenes inside this place is outrageous. By remaining complicit, Disney approves of the genocide in that region. Thanking the authorities is proof that Disney does not care.
The question to ask yourself is, “Do you care?” If you do, send a note to Disney. Let them know that filming in Xinjiang, thanking the authorities for their cooperation, unwillingness to acknowledge the inhumane acts of torture toward Muslims of that region is unacceptable. Muslims deserve human rights. We stand with the Uyghur people, and we call for a Disney boycott.