China Bans Media Coverage and Publicity For “Mulan”

On the heels of controversy sparked by a special thanks in the end credits sequence of Mulan, Chinese authorities have told major media outlets in the country not to cover the release of the film, according to Reuters.

What’s Happening:

  • In an order issued by the Chinese government, Authorities have reached out to major media outlets instructing them not to cover the release of Mulan. Some sources say that they received the order from the Cyberspace Administration of China. While no reason was specified for the coverage blockout, many believe it to be caused by the overseas backlash of the film’s connections to the Xinjiang region.
  • Partially filmed in the Xinjiang region, Mulan’s end credits included thanks to the authorities there, which prompted boycotts of the movie, including a trending hashtag, “#BoycottMulan.” China’s treatment of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang has been criticised by some governments, including the United States, as well as human rights groups.
  • On Wednesday, a tabloid run by the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily, criticised the backlash against the movie in an editorial in its English edition, calling it “another manifestation of the extreme ideologies regarding China among US public opinion.”
  • Not allowing the $200 million dollar production to receive any publicity would be yet another blow to Mulan, after finding its star in a different controversy earlier this year after making comments to political situations on social media, as well as being delayed numerous times before eventually making its way to Disney+ for a premier access upcharge.
  • China was one of the few markets where Mulan will be shown theatrically. The lack of publicity will certainly affect the film, and it is currently predicted the film will  earn a dismal 150 million yuan ($22 Million) at mainland box offices, and early audience reviews haven’t been great despite the film’s effort to appeal to a Chinese audience.