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Rubio, Colleagues Send Letter to Disney CEO Over Filming in Xinjiang Where More Than a Million Uyghurs Are in Camps
Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and colleagues sent a bipartisan letter to The Walt Disney Company’s Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek, inquiring about Disney’s cooperation with Xinjiang’s security and propaganda authorities in the production of the movie Mulan. For years, reports have surfaced highlighting China’s campaign against Uyghur and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’s (XUAR). In their letter, the members highlight that, “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.”
Earlier this year, Senator Rubio was joined by 74 members of the Senate and the House in sending a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin urging them to issue a formal determination of the atrocity crimes, including crimes against humanity and genocide against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim ethnic minorities.
Joining Rubio in sending the letter were Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), James Lankford (R-OK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), as well as Representatives James P. McGovern (D-MA), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and Liz Cheney (R-WY).
Rubio is Cochair of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations’ Subcommittee that oversees human rights, and a member of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Mr. Chapek:
We are writing to inquire about The Walt Disney Company’s cooperation with elements of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’s (XUAR) security and propaganda authorities in the production of Mulan. 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 closing credits of Mulan extend thanks to the “Turpan Municipal Bureau of Public Security” and the “Publicity Department of CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Committee” as well as other local level XUAR propaganda elements. In October 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security added the Turpan Municipal Bureau of Public Security to its Entity List for “human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the XUAR.” The XUAR Publicity (or Propaganda) Department—which is an arm of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)—has denied, distorted, and otherwise covered up these crimes against humanity that also include forced labor and a campaign of mass sterilization, forced abortions, and birth suppression against Uyghurs.
Publicly available information prior to the filming of Mulan showed the existence of mass internment camps for the detention of Uyghurs. By July 1, 2018, major news outlets in the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, and Hong Kong all had reported that Beijing had interned hundreds of thousands, if not more than one million, Uyghurs and minorities in the XUAR. 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.
As such, we request the following information.
The Walt Disney Company’s website states, “We believe social responsibility is a long-term investment that serves to strengthen our operations and competitiveness in the marketplace, enhance risk management, attract and engage talented employees, and maintain our reputation.” We seek to fully understand how you implement this commitment in the activities you undertake in China.
We look forward to your prompt and detailed responses to these requests.