Republican lawmakers from Georgia criticized Disney for filming “Mulan” in regions of China where people are reportedly tortured in concentration camps, despite having threatened to boycott Georgia for outlawing abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Georgia’s Gov. Brian Kemp, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R), and Rep. Jody Hice (R) each issued statements to the Daily Caller’s Henry Rodgers that condemned Disney for their apparent double standard.
In 2019, then-Disney CEO Bob Iger told Reuters that the entertainment giant might sever ties with the state after the heartbeat bill, saying, “I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.” Despite the backlash, Kemp remained adamant at the time that the law was the right thing to do, describing it as “a declaration that all life has value, that all life matters, and that all life is worthy of protection.”
In his statement to the Caller, Kemp said, “With a low cost of doing business, incredible natural resources, and a highly skilled and motivated workforce, Georgia remains the choice location for television and film production. We will continue to compete globally for these projects that invest in local communities and employ thousands of hardworking Georgians.” Georgia offers a 30% tax rebate for film and TV production, making it a hub for the industry in the Southeast.
As for Disney’s filming in China, according to The Hollywood Reporter, not “only did Disney shoot in the region, but the studio appears to have offered its gratitude to Chinese government agencies involved in alleged abuses.” Specifically, they thanked the Turpan Municipal Bureau of Public Safety, which is the agency reportedly responsible for the internment and abuse of nearly 1 million Uyghur Muslims, according to the BBC.
The Hollywood Reporter added, “Mulan‘s credit sequence also extends a thank you to the ‘publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uighur Autonomy Region Committee,’ the Chinese Communist Party agency responsible for producing and managing state propaganda efforts in the region.”
Loeffler told the Caller, “I’m extremely disappointed that Disney has chosen to partner with—and even thank—the Chinese Communist Party as part of their most recent film production. Xinjiang and China’s disgraceful history of human rights violations, free speech suppression, and even genocide should be denounced vociferously—not applauded.”
“As the best state in the country for film and business, I encourage Disney to prioritize freedom, equality, and opportunity for all—and put Georgia back on its mind,” she added.
Hice offered the lengthiest statement, saying:
Yet another once-great American corporation – the Walt Disney Company – has decided to stand in-league with the evil communist regime in China rather than support and defend American values of equality and respect for all peoples, creeds and religions. Disney happily jumped into the debate in the State of Georgia to oppose the ‘Heartbeat’ bill, which saves the lives of thousands of unborn babies from abortion – but refuses to condemn Communist China’s systematic persecution of religious minorities by the millions.
This grossly hypocritical position and the recent controversy surrounding the movie “Mulan” demonstrates the massive influence of China in Hollywood. Many of us in Congress have been speaking out against China’s blatant disregard for religious liberty for years. But if the American private sector continues to support and collaborate with the communist government, then the fight to stop China’s human rights abuses becomes that much harder.
I urge Disney to seize this moment to serve as a light in the darkness and set an example for other corporations.
Other companies, such as Netflix, followed Disney in their threat to boycott Georgia. “We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content creator, told Variety in 2019. “It’s why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court.”
Netflix is in hot water with many viewers after clips from its new movie “Cuties” depicting young girls dancing in an overtly provocative, sexualized way, went viral.
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