Disney recently released their remake of Mulan, streaming on their OTT platform Disney+ for about $30, and they now find themselves embroiled in controversy due to some of the China ties. Disney disclosed this past weekend that they filmed part of the movie in China’s Xinjiang region, where Uyghur muslims are held in concentration camps, and women are subject to forced sterilizations or abortions.
As Axios noted, in the credits Disney thanked the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda commission in Xinjiang, which was accused by Uyghur Human Rights Project of disseminating disinformation in “whitewashing” human rights abuses in the region. Also thanked was the Xinjiang public security bureau, which in July was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury for human rights abuses.
Outkick readers are well aware that the NBA has been embroiled in controversy surrounding its ties to China since Daryl Morey supported Hong Kong democracy protesters last Fall. The league also had a basketball camp in the Xinjiang region that it ultimately closed amidst much scrutiny. Disney is in a similar position to the NBA, where it ardently champions diversity and inclusion in America but appears to be turning a blind eye to bolster its bottom line with regards to China.
To be sure, many large American corporations face this quandary. China is the world’s second largest economy. Companies rationalize that the Chinese people are wonderful, and deserve the right to be their customers. But to do business in China at a large scale is to collaborate with the Chinese Communist Party.
When you read about Disney threatening to pull their business out of the state of Georgia over concerns about abortion laws but directly thanking the operators of what might be the largest scale of human rights violations since Nazi Germany, it’s impossible not to notice the hypocrisy.