The Walt Disney Co. has reportedly agreed to meet with representatives of the Uyghur Human Rights Project after intense pressure from a Republican congressman from Indiana.
The entertainment giant previously promised to meet with the Chinese Uyghur victims and human rights advocates, then backed out, said Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., in his letter to Bob Iger, the CEO of The Walt Disney Co.
“[S]urely, if Disney’s executives heard firsthand accounts of the genocide, they would take a harder stance against its perpetrators,” he wrote. The May 9 letter was co-signed by four other Republican members of Congress.
Disney faced scrutiny and criticism in 2020 for filming its live-action remake of “Mulan” in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The region is known to be the center of the Chinese Communist Party’s mass genocide, torture, and persecution of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim groups.
Critics accused Disney of ignoring the numerous human rights violations inflicted upon the Uyghur Muslim people in the autonomous region. In a June 2021 report for The Daily Caller, Mary Margaret Olohan wrote that, in the autonomous region, pregnant women are forced to abort their unborn children. Children are removed from their families and detained by the government. Dissidents are shackled to pipes and interrogated by soldiers. (Olohan is now with The Daily Signal.)
In his May letter to Iger, Banks wrote that company executives reneged on a promise to talk off the record with Uyghur victims’ families and advocates following the company’s compliance with, and praise for, many Chinese government agencies while working on the film.
In Mulan’s credits, your company thanked several Chinese government agencies participating in the genocide, including the Public Security Bureau of Turpan, which then-President [Donald] Trump placed on the Commerce Department’s Entity List in 2019 for ‘human rights violations and abuses’ against Uyghurs and other ethnic groups.
Disney’s credits also expressed gratitude to the ‘Publicity Department of CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Committee,’ the CCP propaganda arm charged with covering up the abuses.
Banks also called upon Disney to take accountability for its actions by explaining why it backed out of the originally scheduled meeting.
“It couldn’t have been to protect Disney’s public image or bottom line, so maybe the executives were just worried about a good night’s sleep,” the Indiana lawmaker said in a press statement two days after the letter.
Nearly a month after Banks released his letter, Disney finally agreed to meet with the families of Uyghur genocide victims and their advocates, The Washington Free Beacon reported this week.
Banks’ actions are among many that members of Congress have taken recently to combat systematic extermination of Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in China. Christians are among the many groups that continue to be persecuted by the CCP.
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