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Netflix urged to drop sci-fi series over Uighurs

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on September 25, 2020 - Duration: 01:59s

Netflix urged to drop sci-fi series over Uighurs

Five Republican U.S. senators have urged Netflix to reconsider plans to adapt a Chinese science-fiction book trilogy into a TV series because they said the author has defended the Chinese government's treatment of Uighur Muslims. Gloria Tso reports.

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Netflix urged to drop sci-fi series over Uighurs

Five Republican U.S. senators have urged Netflix to drop plans for a TV adaptation of a Chinese science fiction series.

Lawmakers led by Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee take issue with the author of 'The Three-Body Problem,' Liu Cixin, and his defense of China's treatment of Uighur Muslims. Netflix announced earlier this month it would be turning the book and its two sequels into an English language, live-action TV series led by the creators of smash hit "Game of Thrones." Liu is set to serve as a consulting producer.

The senators pointed to Liu's comments in a 2019 interview in the New Yorker.

He was asked about China's clampdown on Muslims in the Xinjiang region, where a United Nations report has estimated that around one million people, mostly ethnic Uighurs, were detained in camps and subjected to ideological education.

Liu was quoted as saying: "Would you rather that they be hacking away at bodies at train stations and schools in terrorist attacks?

If anything, the government is helping their economy and trying to lift them out of poverty." The United States and human rights groups have criticized China's treatment of Uighurs.

But China's foreign ministry has repeatedly denied the existence of internment camps in Xinjiang, calling the facilities vocational and educational institutions, and accusing what it calls anti-China forces of smearing its Xinjiang policy.

In their letter to Netflix, the senators said Netflix's decision to adapt "The Three-Body Problem" amounted to quote "normalization" of the Chinese government's "crimes" and asked Netflix to "seriously reconsider the implications of providing a platform to Mr. Liu in producing this project." Netflix had no immediate comment.

Netflix isn't alone in facing pressure from U.S. lawmakers over China.

Senators and representatives from both parties have put pressure on Disney, for filming parts of the live-action remake of "Mulan" in Xinjiang.

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Marsha Blackburn

United States Senator from Tennessee

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