A bipartisan group of US lawmakers urged Walt Disney Co CEO Bob Chapek to explain the company’s connection with the “security and propaganda” authorities of China’s Xinjiang region during the production of the epic war film “Mulan” .
Disney’s $ 200 million live-action remake of its animated classic about a warrior woman in ancient China has been controversial for being partially filmed in the Xinjiang region, where China̵
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“Disney’s apparent cooperation with officials from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) who are most responsible for committing atrocities – or covering up those crimes – is deeply disturbing,” Senators and Republican representatives wrote in Friday’s letter. .
He urged Disney to provide a detailed explanation.
The letter was retweeted by the Congress Executive Commission on China (CECC), 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 CECC, said information about Beijing’s role in detaining Uyghurs in Xinjiang was all over the media before the filming of “Mulan”.
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“The decision to film parts of Mulan in conjunction with local security and propaganda elements offers tacit legitimacy to those perpetrators who can justify the designation of genocide.”
The Chinese foreign ministry has repeatedly denied the existence of reeducation camps in the region, calling the structures professional and educational institutions and accusing what it calls anti-Chinese forces of tarnishing its Xinjiang policy.
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Lawmakers also asked Disney for information on the use of local labor, Uighurs or other ethnic minorities, “as well as the due diligence performed to ensure that forced labor was not used during the film’s production.”
The film, released on Disney’s streaming service in many markets, was released in China on Friday and grossed 46 million yuan ($ 6.7 million) at the box office by 8pm. (1200 GMT).
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The Trump administration said this week it had prepared orders to stop imports of cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang over forced labor charges.
(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)