A group of five Republican US Senators has called on streaming service Netflix to halt plans to turn a Chinese science fiction book series into an action series.
According to the Senators, the writer of the series has spoken positively in the past about the treatment of Uyghurs by the Chinese government.
Netflix announced earlier this month that the trilogy of Liu Cixin, a Chinese author, will be filmed. Production will be led by D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, who is also behind HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones.
However, the five Senators in a letter point out to Netflix statements Liu made in an interview with the New Yorker last year about China’s policy on Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.
In that area, Uyghurs are systematically oppressed, and there are large-scale internment camps where prisoners perform forced labour. On the contrary, the Chinese authorities claim that the re-education system, as they refer to the camps, is being phased out.
“In any case, the government is helping their economy and trying to lift them out of poverty,” Liu said in the interview about the Chinese approach. “If you loosened up the land, the consequences would be dire.”
In their letter to Netflix, the Republicans, led by Senator Marsha Blackburn, argue that turning Liu’s book series into a series amounts to “normalizing the crimes of the Chinese government.” Netflix has not yet responded to the call.