Netflix Says It Does Not Agree With Chinese Author’s Views on Uyghurs Although Project Going Ahead

September 28, 2020 Updated: September 28, 2020

Netflix Inc., in a response to U.S. senators’ concerns over the company’s plans to adapt a Chinese science-fiction book trilogy, said on Friday it did not agree with the Chinese author’s views on the Chinese communist regime’s treatment of ethnic Uyghurs.

Five Republican senators urged Netflix (pdf) this week to reconsider plans to adapt the book into a TV series because they said it would act to normalize the human rights abuses of the Chinese Communist Party.

“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is committing atrocities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), also known as East Turkistan to locals, including mass imprisonment, forced labor, thought transformation in order to denounce religion and culture, involuntary medical testing, and forced sterilization and abortion. These crimes are committed systemically and at a scale which may warrant a distinction of genocide,” Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Martha McSally (R., Ariz.), Kevin Cramer (R., N.D.), and Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) said in the letter.

“Sadly, a number of U.S. companies continue to either actively or tacitly allow the normalization of, or apologism for, these crimes. The decision to produce an adaptation of Mr. Liu’s work can be viewed as such normalization.”

Netflix announced this month that it was turning the books—”The Three-Body Problem” and two sequels—written by Liu Cixin into a live-action, English-language TV series led by D.B Weiss and David Benioff, the creators of HBO megahit “Game of Thrones.”

Liu serves as a consulting producer on the project.

“Mr. Liu is the author of the book not the creator of this show. We do not agree with his comments, which are entirely unrelated to his book or this Netflix show,” said Netflix Global Public Policy Vice President Dean Garfield in a letter to the senators.

Liu had told the New Yorker magazine in 2019 about the CCP’s treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, “If anything, the government is helping their economy and trying to lift them out of poverty. If you were to loosen up the country a bit, the consequences would be terrifying,” he claimed.

The senators also asked Netflix to reconsider the implications of providing a platform to Liu in producing this project.

The Netflix streaming service is available in more than 190 countries but does not operate in China.

The United States and human rights groups have criticized the CCP’s treatment of the Uyghurs.

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.

By Rama Venkat. The Epoch Times contributed to this article.