Chinese authorities have ‘banned’ major media outlets in the mainland from covering Disney’s live-action adaptation of ‘Mulan’, according to a report from Reuters. People familiar with the matter told Reuters that the order was issued following global controversy over the film’s links to the Xinjiang region.
When the highly anticipated film debuted on Disney+ last week, fans took note of the end credits, which included thanks to authorities in Xinjiang, a region that has been complicit in the clampdown on ethnic Uyghurs and Muslims. This prompted a boycott of the film in overseas markets.
This is truly outrageous: The new live-action Mulan THANKS the Turpan Public Security Bureau (in southern Xinjiang) in the credits. That specific public security bureau has been deeply involved in the Xinjiang concentration camps.— B. Allen-Ebrahimian (@BethanyAllenEbr) September 7, 2020
h/t @jeannette_ng @shawnwzhang pic.twitter.com/db8bpA3Yl1
Three sources told Reuters that media outlets had received the notice, two of whom said it was sent by the Cyberspace Administration of China. A fourth source at a major Chinese newspaper said he received a text message with a similar order from a senior colleague. No reason was given in the notice, but sources believe it to be linked to the Xinjiang controversy.
‘Mulan’ launches in Chinese cinemas today, but the media censorship could mean a blow for the US$200 million production. When Disney announced in August that the film would go directly to its Plus service for a premium price of US$29.99, it immediately made China the largest and most lucrative market that will get to see film on the big screen. Disney had high hopes for the film in China, where the ancient tale of the iconic warrior originated.
The Global Times, a state-run media outlet, criticised the backlash against the movie in an editorial, describing it as “another manifestation of the extreme ideologies regarding China among US public opinion”.