Disney Acknowledges Problematic Mulan Production

Although it's unclear whether the studio will be doing more beyond that.


Disney's gambit of producing live-action adaptations of its animated back catalog has, on paper, sounded like a savvy strategy. But with the recent Mulan, that approach has been proving out to have a turbulent learning curve in practice. The film has sparked controversy over, among other things, parts of production taking place in the province of Xinjiang, where internment camps are located--and Disney giving special thanks to several government entities there who have also been linked to cultural genocide. (For deeper context on many of the issues involved here, check out the NSFW--though compelling and great--clip of John Oliver's Last Week Tonight below.)

As Disney has come increasingly under fire for these production choices since the movie's release last week, Christine McCarthy, Disney's chief financial officer, told Variety on Thursday that the company acknowledges the pushback they've been receiving. "It has generated a lot of publicity," McCarthy said. "Let’s leave it at that."

McCarthy also added that "it's common to acknowledge in a film's credits the national and local governments that allowed you to film there."

Meanwhile, there has been a media blackout in effect in mainland China. On Thursday, Reuters reported that Chinese authorities have told major media outlets not to cover Mulan. When asked whether Disney was concerned how international condemnation could impact its business, McCarthy said, "I'm not a box office predictor."

Stateside, the movie has been earning so-so reviews.

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