Disney’s Mulan has been the subject of controversy since last summer, when lead actress Liu Yifei was called out for voicing support of Hong Kong police who were accused of committing acts of brutality against pro-democracy protesters in the region. Following the film’s debut on Disney+ over the weekend, the production has come under additional scrutiny as THR reports that some viewers noticed a particularly troubling line in Mulan’s end credits. The production gives “special thanks” to “eight government entities in Xinjiang, including the public security bureau in the city of Turpan,” the site of numerous “re-education camps” where an estimated one million Uighur Muslims have been detained and, per leaked government documents, subjected to various forms of torture (including forced sterilization and labor), and forced to renounce Islam and their beliefs.
For years, the Chinese government has claimed that these “re-education centers” do not exist despite the fact that internal documents refer to them explicitly as such. Chinese officials claim that these centers are actually vocational schools for criminals, and that they are instead running a “mass de-radicalization program” targeted at Muslim extremists. However, leaked documents reveal that citizens can be detained merely for aesthetic reasons, like wearing a veil or growing a long beard. Mulan’s end credits additionally thank the “publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uighur Autonomy Region Committee”—the entity of the Chinese Communist Party that produces and manages state propaganda.
As THR notes, director Niki Caro shared a photo on Instagram back in 2017 from a location scout in the capital of Xinjiang. Although reports made mention of Mulan filming in and around the area, and China’s human rights abuses of Uighur Muslims in the region have been public for years, the end credits of Mulan made the connection more explicit and troubling—particularly because Disney cooperated with entities that manufacture and spread dangerous propaganda used to justify said abuses.
Just another extremely upsetting development from a massive corporation that prides itself on “family values.”