Maajid asks how can companies work with a regime that is engaged in a genocide?

10 September 2020, 17:28

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Maajid Nawaz gave a powerful monologue on diversity in the film industry and ended asking how companies could work with the Chinese regime?

After Disney came under fire from MPs for filming part of its live-action reboot Mulan in Xinjiang, the region in China where the government has been accused of human rights abuses against Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, LBC's Maajid Nawaz tackled the issue.

In the final credits if the film the company thank propaganda departments in Xinjiang and the public security bureau of Turpan, a Uighur-majority city in the region.

Maajid said it has raised concerns about companies "posturing that they are doing everything they can for on-screen diversity in Hollywood."

He added that the latest criteria for winning an Oscar have new rules which will require studios to boost diversity both in front and behind the camera, as well as in executive roles.

Maajid said this could lead to "diversity on screen because you want to score some woke points with the college kids."

But he said if "on the back end, you're literally filming in an area where a genocide took place and you're thanking the security services for granting you permission to film in that area, how is that not genocide proximity?"

Maajid asked: "How is that not profiting off the back of the destruction of a people?"

This led Maajid to a powerful monologue.

He said: "You can display your Minstral show on screen all you like, you can pretend in a United Colors of Benetton way that you've got all this on-screen diversity.

"But how are we, people of colour, minorities anything other than dancing minstrels if behind the screen you're cooperating, Disney, with a regime that is engaged in a genocide?"

Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities in the remote Xinjiang region have been locked up in camps as part of a government assimilation campaign launched in response to decades of sometimes violent struggle against Chinese rule.

Some have been subjected to forced sterilisation and abortion, and in recent months, ordered to drink traditional Chinese medicines to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Chinese authorities defend the camps as job training centres, though former detainees describe them as prison-like facilities where they were humiliated, beaten and deprived of food.

Watch the whole thought-provoking video at the top of the page.