Netflix has hit back at criticism levelled at a new TV series helmed by Game Of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
The streaming giant’s Vice President of Global Public Policy Dean Garfield responded to a letter sent by several US Senators earlier this month who are concerned about its decision to adapt The Three-Body Problem, the work of Chinese author Liu Cixin.
Liu made comments in The New Yorker last year in which he appeared to support the Chinese government’s internment camps where Uyghur Muslims and other Muslim minorities are being held.
The magazine’s Jiayang Fan asked Liu about camps in Xinjiang province in northern China, detailing that Liu “trotted out the familiar arguments of government-controlled media: ‘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… If you were to loosen up the country a bit, the consequences would be terrifying.’”
The five GOP Senators asked if senior executives at Netflix were aware of the statements made by Liu before they made a deal to adapt his work. They also urged Netflix “to seriously reconsider the implications of providing a platform to Mr. Liu in producing [the project]”.
Garfield hit back firmly, writing in a Q&A response to the letter: “We do not agree with his comments, which are entirely unrelated to his book or this Netflix show.”
And as for being accused by the Senators of “normalising” the Chinese government’s incarceration of more than 1 million Uyghur Muslims by making a series out of Liu’s award-winning books, Garfield politely reminded the legislators that “Netflix does not operate a service in China”
You can read Garfield’s full response via Deadline here.
The Three-Body Problem is part of Benioff and Weiss’ $300million (£233million) overall deal with Netflix. Rosamund Pike, Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson are reportedly being connected to the project.
Alexander Woo, co-creator of AMC’s The Terror: Infamy, will write and executive produce the series.