Netflix has a number of various projects in the pipeline over the next several years, but one has led to some backlash from politicians. Earlier this month, the streamer announced that it had tapped Game of Thrones creators David Benioff & D.B. Weiss to adapt Liu Cixin's Three-Body Problem trilogy. The announcement eventually received opposition from five senators who wrote a letter asking the streamer to reconsider the decision. Now, Netflix has provided a response.
The five Republican senators argued that by adapting Three-Body Problem, Netflix would be “normalizing” the Chinese government’s incarceration of over 1 million Uyghur Muslims. The senators also pointed to a previous interview from Liu Cixin, during which he spoke about internment camps in the Xinjiang province of northern China. With this, the political officials asked that Netflix “seriously reconsider the implications of providing a platform to Mr. Liu in producing this project.”
In a Q&A-style letter (via Deadline), Dean Garfield, Netflix’s Vice President of Public Policy, stated that the company judges projects “on their merits” and that the company does not agree with Liu Cixin’s statements:
Netflix judges individual projects on their merits. Mr. Liu is the author of the book – The Three Body Problem – not the creator of this show. We do not agree with his comments, which are entirely unrelated to his book or this Netflix show.
In the letter, Garfield went on to stress that while Liu is the author of the book series, he is not the creator of the show:
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 D.B. Weiss, the creators of Game of Thrones, and Alexander Woo, executive producer/writer on the series True Blood.
While Liu does not seem to be involved in the day-to-day development of the project, Netflix’s initial announcement does list him as a consulting producer. In a statement in that release, the author expressed his excitement for the project and expressed faith in the creative team’s attempt to adapt his work.
The Three-Body Problem was originally published in China back in 2008 before getting an English publication in 2014. Set in the future, the sci-fi novel establishes a universe in which the star system includes a three-body problem that’s made up of three solar-type stars that orbit each other. In the first book, the Earth is soon to be invaded by the closest one. The book received critical acclaim and would become the first Asian novel to earn the Hugo Award for Best Novel. Two sequels, The Dark Forest and Death’s End, followed in 2008 and 2010, respectively, and all three make up the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy.
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