Netflix stands by decision to adapt novel written by supporter of China's Uyghur persecution

Netflix stands by decision to adapt novel written by supporter of China's Uyghur persecution
Netflix says it does not agree with Liu Cixin's comments, but will continue with the series adaptation.
2 min read
26 September, 2020
Author Liu Cixin voiced support for China's Uyghur detention camps [Getty]
Netflix has stood by a decision to adapt a sci-fi novel written by an author who made disparaging remarks about China's Uyghur Muslim minority.

The entertainment service stood by its decision in a letter addressed to Republican senators who asked it to reconsider adapting Liu Cixin's 'The Three Body Problem' for home streaming.

Liu sparked controversy when he voiced support for China's detention of over a million Uyghur Muslims in so-called reeducation camps.

"Would you rather that they be hacking away at bodies at train stations and schools in terrorist attacks?" Liu said in an interview with the New Yorker last year.

"If anything, the government is helping their economy and trying to lift them out of poverty," he said, adding: "If you were to loosen up the country a bit, the consequences would be terrifying."

Earlier this week, a group of US senators led by Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee highlighted the remarks in a letter to the entertainment giant.

"We have significant concerns with Netflix’s decision to do business with an individual who is parroting dangerous CCP propaganda," the senators wrote.

"In the face of such atrocities in (Xinjiang), there no longer exist corporate decisions of complacency, only complicity."

The company responded with a letter in which it appeared to swerve the broader issue.

"Mr. Liu's comments are not reflective of the views of Netflix or of the show’s creators, nor are they part of the plot or themes of the show," wrote Netflix vice president of public policy Dean Garfield.

Netflix added that it does not added that it does "not agree with his [Liu's] comments".

Rights groups say more than one million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking people have been incarcerated in camps across China's northwestern territory, with residents pressured to give up traditional and religious activities.

Recent reports and satellite imagery also suggest that around 16,000 mosques had been systematically destroyed or damaged in Xinjiang province by Chinese authorities.

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