Disney Exec Admits Backlash Over Xinjiang Filming Gets ‘Mulan’ ‘a Lot of Publicity’

Disney CFO Christine McCarthy has addressed backlash over the studio's new live-action remake of "Mulan".

The film, which streams exclusively on the Disney+ on demand service, has proven controversial among fans after it was discovered that portions of it were filmed in the Xinjiang province of China.

The film's credits also include a thank you to authorities in Xinjiang – a highly controversial location where Uighur Muslims have been detained in mass internment camps.

Missouri's Republican junior senator, Josh Hawley, sent a letter to Disney condemning the company for "whitewashing the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities during the production of Mulan" – and now McCarthy has responded.

"I'm not a box-office prognosticator, but it (backlash) has generated a lot of publicity," she stated, reported Deadline. "Let me just put something into context. The real facts are that Mulan was primarily shot – almost in entirety – in New Zealand."

"In an effort to accurately depict some of the unique landscape and geography of the country of China for this period drama, we filmed scenery in 20 different locations in China."

"It's common knowledge that, in order to film in China, you have to be granted permission. That permission comes from the central government," she stated, adding that it's common "to acknowledge in a film's credits the national and local governments that allowed you to film there."

"So, in our credits, it recognised both China and locations in New Zealand. I would just leave it at that, but it has generated a lot of issues for us."

"Mulan", which stars Liu Yifei as the titular heroine, premiered in Hollywood in March but a wider theatrical release has been repeatedly delayed due to the coronavirus crisis. It is available to view on the streamer as a premium add-on costing $30 (£23).

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