The Communist Party of China barred major media coverage of the Disney film Mulan, Reuters reported on Thursday, following global outrage in response to producers thanking Chinese officials running concentration camps in its end credits.
Disney filmed much of the film in Xinjiang, China’s westernmost province and home to the majority of the nation’s ethnic Uyghur population. The Party has subjected Uyghurs, a majority Muslim population, to extreme repression and ethnic cleansing protocols for years. Experts believe that, since 2018, China has trapped between 1 and 3 million Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in over a thousand concentration camps throughout Xinjiang, subjecting them to slavery, torture, rape, forced abortion and sterilization, indoctrination, and other human rights atrocities.
The end credits of Mulan thank the officials running the camps – which China claims are “vocational training” centers – for their help in making the film.
Disney’s Mulan is set to take another $200 million blow to its production now that the film will not receive publicity due to media censorship in China, the world’s second-largest movie market, according to a report by Reuters.
Before officials reportedly told media outlets they could not cover the film, Mulan – which stars big-name Chinese-born actors Jet Li, Gong Li, Donnie Yen, and Liu Yifei – was already expected to take a hit due to mixed reviews online and capacity limits in theaters due to the Chinese coronavirus.
Sources told Reuters that media outlets had received a notice from the Cyberspace Administration of China, a governmental agency that regulates and censors the Internet in the Communist country.
The report added that while no reason was given for barring the media, sources say they believe it was due to overseas backlash over the film’s connection to Xinjiang.
Mulan is expected to be shown on more than 40 percent of China’s screens by Friday, reported Reuters. Chinese movie theaters are currently limiting capacity due to the Wuhan virus.