Tag: Entities

Disney Defends ‘Mulan’ Credits That Thanked Chinese Government Entities Involved in Human Rights Abuses

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Disney’s president of film production Sean Bailey defended the controversial credits for the new live-action “Mulan” film, which thanked Chinese government entities directly involved in perpetuating human rights abuses in Xinjiang, as being part of “standard practice across the film industry worldwide,” according to a letter addressed to and posted online by prominent British politician Iain Duncan Smith.

The choice to film in the region was made for reasons of “authenticity,” Bailey explained.

Disney made global headlines when “Mulan,” released to streaming on its Disney+ platform Sept. 4, gave “special thanks” during the film’s end credits to eight different Chinese government departments in Xinjiang, a number of which are directly involved in the campaign that critics have deemed a cultural genocide. They include the Turpan Bureau of Public Security, which was last October sanctioned by the U.S. Commerce Department for engaging in “human rights violations and abuses in implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups.”

In the letter dated to Oct. 7 on official Disney letterhead, Bailey wrote, in Disney’s defense: “It is standard practice across the film industry worldwide to acknowledge in a film’s credits the cooperation, approvals, and assistance provided by various entities and individuals over the course of a film’s production. In this case, the production company Beijing Shadow Times provided our production team with the list of acknowledgements to be included in the credits for ‘Mulan.’”

To bolster his point, he included “examples of credits from other films shot in international locations” in further pages that were not posted online, concluding: “I hope this clarification puts this issue in the proper perspective.”

The remarks rank among the very few that have emerged from any Disney executive since the “Mulan” release. Disney’s CFO Christine McCarthy echoed Bailey’s explanation at an unrelated conference in early September, saying that filming in China requires government approvals and “it’s common to acknowledge in a film’s credits the national and local governments that allowed you to film there.”

Disney has not issued a formal statement or apology on the matter, and has told creatives involved in “Mulan” to steer clear of the subject.

In the Thursday tweet in which he publicized the letter, Conservative member of parliament Duncan Smith called Bailey’s reply “very weak and full of platitudes.”

“The reality is that Disney simply does not want to offend China, and have given in to China’s demands and will not stand up to them,” he wrote. “Disney’s corporate policy does not appear to care about the human rights issues affecting the #Uighurs. It seems human rights come second to the corporate policy of not upsetting China.”

In June,

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