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Tipsheet

Disney's Shame Over the Uyghurs Continues

Disney came under much deserved scrutiny for its 2020 film, "Mulan," in which they thanked the publicity department of the CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomy Region Committee, as well as the Publicity Department and Bureau of Public Security for the city of Turpan. They've continued to do themselves no favors and have only further brought shame upon themselves by reportedly canceling a meeting with Uyghur genocide victims. Disney couldn't even handle an off-the-record meeting. 

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The cancelation of such a meeting got the attention of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, with Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) joining Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) in sending a letter to Disney CEO Bob Iger, along with Reps. John Moolenaar (R-MI), Neal Dunn (R-FL), and Ashley Hinson (R-IA). 

Victims of the Uyghur genocide have been trying to get a meeting with Disney for some time, after the movie premiered. As the letter explains: 

We recently received reports that Disney has evaded meeting with victims of the Uyghur genocide. Shortly after Mulan’s premiere, a coalition of likeminded groups contacted Disney and asked to organize a sit-down between Disney executives, Uyghur victims’ families, and Uyghur advocates. Our understanding is that Disney’s representatives initially agreed to schedule an off the-record discussion. The advocacy groups were hopeful about the opportunity to help correct your company’s apparent indifference towards the Uyghur genocide; surely if Disney’s executives heard firsthand accounts of the genocide, they would take a harder stance against its perpetrators. But, after initially agreeing to the meeting, Disney’s representatives suddenly cutoff the correspondence and ignored the groups’ further inquiries. At the time, you served as Disney’s Executive Chairman, while former CEO Bob Chapek oversaw the company’s day-today operations.

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The members wrote to Iger "to request a meeting between you, other Disney executives, and representatives from the Uyghur American Association and the Uyghur Human Rights Project." The letter goes on to note that the members "have no doubt that such a meeting would prove educational for your company and would be a simple first step in clarifying to millions of Americans that Disney does, in fact, care about the Chinese Communist Party’s systematic extermination of minority ethnic groups."

"Mulan" premiered on Disney + almost three years ago, on July 24, 2020, to poor audience reviews. "Disney never apologized for partnering with and praising Chinese Communist Party agencies actively engaged in genocide," the letter also noted. 

The letter also refers to testimonies the committee heard in March, "The Chinese Communist Party's Ongoing Uyghur Genocide," about the abuses that the Uyghurs have endured at the hands of the CCP. A London tribunal in December 2021 confirmed that the CCP has indeed engaged in a genocide, something the select committee's Democratic and Republican members alike also recognized, leading to calls for action.

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Despite how Disney appears to prefer to turn a blind eye to such atrocities, witnesses and members of the committee spoke out against how we can no longer say we don't know what went on.

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Disney has also been in the news for the company's ongoing legal battles with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). 

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