Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida on Wednesday criticized Eastman Kodak CEO James Continenza for apologizing to Communist China for an Instagram post showing conditions in the Xinjiang region, saying the apology only empowers Beijing to continue its atrocities against Uyghur Muslims.
Kodak last month deleted a post featuring 10 images by photographer Patrick Wack depicting the Xinjiang region in western China, where the Chinese Communist Party is accused of committing crimes against humanity against hundreds of thousands of Uyghur Muslims who are imprisoned there and forced to perform hard labor.
In the post, Mr. Wack described the photos as portraying an “abrupt descent into an Orwellian dystopia.”
Kodak, facing steep criticism by the Chinese Communist Party, deleted the post and apologized.
“For a long time, Kodak has maintained a good relationship with the Chinese government and has been in close cooperation with various government departments,” Kodak said. “We will continue to respect the Chinese government and the Chinese law. We will keep ourselves in check and correct ourselves, taking this as an example of the need for caution.”
Mr. Scott said the company, which has headquarters in New York, “should be standing for American values and against our foreign adversaries.”
In an open letter to Mr. Continenza on Wednesday, Mr. Scott inquired specifically as to the nature of Kodak’s “close coordination” with the CCP mentioned in the company’s apology and asked whether the company employs any members of the Communist Party. Mr. Scott also asked if “all of Kodak’s supply chains are free from Uyghur forced labor.”
“The ongoing abuses in Communist China are despicable,” Mr. Scott said. “Kodak’s decision to delete these photos, essentially censoring its own content, only empowers Communist China to continue these abuses against the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.”
• Joseph Clark can be reached at email@example.com.
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