Live-action ‘Mulan’ Ending Credits Cost Disney Major Backlash

Mulan

Photo via The Express Tribune under the creative commons license

The new ‘Mulan’ movie was set by Disney to please Bejing since their last movie flop about Chinese culture called ‘Kundun’, but ultimately ended up with the same reaction.

Disney’s release of live-action Mulan on September 4th was predicted to be a “box office hit,” but instead lead to major backlash due to the film’s ending credits that gave thanks to the people and places responsible for the Muslim concentration camps in China. 

Disney’s beloved Mulan animation from the late ’90s was set to be reincarnated in live-action form earlier December last year, and then finally debuted on the widespread tv network that is Disney+ on September 4th for purchase for everyone to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes while Covid-19 raged on. To say the least, not only did the changed concept of the new Mulan movie upset viewers, but the entire set and ending credits as well. Generally, most people at movie theaters or at home when watching a movie tend to skip the ending credits overall, but the few that stuck around to read it noticed something that didn’t sit right with them at all, and decided to share their thoughts via social media. 

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The location of the desert scene in ‘Mulan’ took place close to 10 internment camps and 5 prisons only 4 miles away from set. (Photo via Los Angeles Times under the creative commons license)

One of the people to share their thoughts was writer, Jeanette Ng, whose now trending tweet said that Disney “Specifically thanked the publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Committee in the credits. You know, the place where the cultural genocide is happening.” She then added shortly after, that the film subtitles refer to the set in Xinjiang as “Northwest China,” blinding people to the actual location of the movie. Not only were tweets shared alerting the public about Mulan’s controversial ending credits, but news articles by The Washington Post also added their two cents by noting the fact that Disney also thanked government organizations which even extended to the police bureau in Turpan, Xinjiang. The social uproar then formed the #BoycottMulan movement in order to show Disney how unhappy people were with their landscape choices, and how it had seemed to turn a blind eye to the mass Muslim genocide. 

In 1946, Disney released “Song of the South,” which glorified life on a plantation in painfully racist terms. Rightfully ashamed, Disney later pulled the film — it’s now difficult to find a copy. Mulan is arguably Disney’s most problematic movie since then. Not because of its content, but because of the shameful compromises Disney made in order to shoot it.”

— Isaac Stone Fish (The Washington Post)

Notably, Xinjiang currently holds more than 1 million Muslims (a majority being of the Uighur minority) in concentration camps. Atrocities within the camps (that are ultimately designed to provide physical, mental, and psychological harm upon the minority) that have become globally known include systematic sterilization of Uighur women in order to “prevent births within the group using imposing measures”, forced labor in factories, abuse, various forms of torture, rape, and death. Survivors that are still being held in these camps are subjected to electrocution, waterboarding, repeated beatings, stress positions, and even being injected with unknown substances in an attempt to eradicate the entire living and future generation Uighur Muslims. 

Disney’s attempt to use Mulan as a way to represent a different culture amid the social unrest happening in today’s society, did so very poorly. The locations for Mulan have since been questioned by people as to why Disney chose the land that is tied to the genocide and how that ties into the story of Mulan at all. Disney fans, and anyone who has watched Mulan, have also commented on how many of the lead actors stand for police brutality and racial injustice, which doesn’t help Disney’s stance on their movie at all.

Disney has not commented much about the concerns with the new Mulan and how it might help to normalize crimes against humanity.