Netflix Rejects GOP Senators’ Criticism Over Chinese language Sci-Fi Novel Adaptation – Deadline
On Wednesday, five Republican senators sent a letter to Netflix’s Ted Sarandos about the streamer service’s plan to have Game of Thrones executive producers adapt the sci-fi trilogy, The Three-Body Problem, by Chinese author Liu Cixin. Tonight, Netflix’s VP of Global Public Policy shot back nicely but firmly.
Dean Garfield was accused of “normalizing” the Chinese government’s brutal detention of more than 1 million Uighur Muslims through the creation of a series of Liu’s award-winning books and politely reminded lawmakers that “Netflix has no service in China” .
In a Q&A format, the executive made it clear that the company, EPs David Benioff and DB Weiss, as well as others working on the adaptation, are not doing so simply because the author of the three-body problem is his inhuman policies Government supports.
The show that can be seen this week: “Tehran”, “Fargo”, Season 4, “Utopia” and “Ratched”
“Netflix assesses individual projects based on their merits,” said Dean Garfield to Senators Marsha Blackburn (R, Tenn.), Rick Scott (R, Fla.), Martha McSally (R, Ariz.) And Kevin Cramer (R., ND). and Thom Tillis (R., NC). on Friday. “Mr. Liu is the author of the book – The Three Body Problem – not the creator of this show,” Garfield added. “We disagree with his comments that have nothing to do with his book or this Netflix show.”
The Three-Body Problem was awarded the prestigious Hugo Award for the first book in the trilogy in 2015 and examines humanity’s first contact with an alien civilization. Earlier this month, Netflix announced that the GoT EPs were turning the book into a series as part of their overall $ 300 million deal with the company. Along with Brad Pitt’s Plan B, last Jedi director Rian Johnson and Rosamund Pike, who are also linked to the project, Alexander Woo, co-creator of AMC’s The Terror: Infamy, who signed an all-inclusive deal with Netflix in February, will write that and EP three-body problem series with Benioff and Weiss.
In their September 23 correspondence with Co-CEO Sarandos, the five GOP Senators asked if the streamer’s executives were aware of Liu’s statements, quoted in the New Yorker last year, before they reached a deal to adjust its work completed.
The magazine’s Jiayang fan asked Liu about the detention centers in north China’s Xinjiang Province in the 2019 article. She said: “He worked out the well-known arguments of the government-controlled media: ‘Would you rather have them chop off corpses at train stations and schools during terrorist attacks? If anything, the government is helping their economy and trying to lift it out of poverty … If you loosened the country up a bit, the consequences would be dire. ‘”
Based on these comments and the tensions between the Trump administration and Beijing, the Senators wrote Thursday urging Netflix to “seriously reconsider the implications of providing a platform for Mr. Liu in creating this project.”
“We are deeply concerned about Netflix’s decision to do business with someone who carries out dangerous CCP propaganda,” the senators said. “In view of such atrocities in XUAR, there are no longer any company decisions of complacency, only complicity.”
Today’s answer makes it pretty clear that Netflix believes it is not guilty of complacency or complicity. “That means that this election year is far from over.
READ THE FULL LETTER TO THE GOP SENATORS HERE::
September 25, 2020
Senator Marsha Blackburn
Senator Rick Scott
Senator Kevin Cramer
Senator Thom Tillis
Senator Martha McSally
United States Senate
Dear Senators Blackburn, Scott, Cramer, Tillis and McSally:
Thank you for your September 23 letter and interest in the upcoming adaptation of the Netflix series based on The Three-Body Problem.
First of all, we would like to point out that Netflix does not operate a service in China.
We address your questions and concerns below:
Q: Does Netflix agree that the Chinese Communist Party’s funeral of 1.8-3 million Uyghurs in internment or labor camps is unacceptable because of their ethnicity?
A: Definitely. The UN Declaration of Human Rights (signed by China) states: “All people are born free and equal with dignity and rights.”
Q: In order to avoid further glorification of the CCP’s actions against the Uyghurs or validation of the Chinese regime and the authorities responsible for such actions, what steps will Netflix take to be critical of this project – including the company
broader relationship with Mr. Liu?
A: Mr. Liu is the author of the books, not the creator of this series. Mr. Liu’s comments do not reflect the views of Netflix or the show’s creators, nor are they part of the plot or themes of the show.
Q: Were Netflix officers aware of Mr. Liu Cixin’s statements about the CCP’s genocidal acts before they reached an agreement to adjust his work? If so, please outline the reasons that led Netflix to push this project forward. If
Please do not describe the standard Netflix due diligence process and the loopholes in it that led to this oversight.
A: Mr. Liu is a Chinese citizen living in China – he is the author of the books, not the creator of this Netflix series. The creators are David Benioff and DB Weiss, creators of Game of Thrones, and Alexander Woo, executive producer / writer on the series True Blood.
Q: Does Netflix have a policy on entering into contracts with publicly available persons who publicly or privately promote principles that are inconsistent with Netflix’s corporate culture and principles? If so, please outline this policy. If not please
explain why not.
A: Netflix rates individual projects based on their merits. Mr. Liu is the author of the book – The Three Body Problem – not the creator of this show. We disagree with his comments that have nothing to do with his book or this Netflix show.
Vice President, Global Public Policy