First HBO, and now Disney.
China’s war with Winnie the Pooh has intensified, as Beijing has reportedly banned the new Disney film “Christopher Robin” as part of their new crackdown on the half-naked bear. Why? Because Pooh has become a resistance icon over Chinese social media due to his resemblance to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
— Fiona Rutherford (@Fi_Rutherford) August 7, 2018
While the Guardian notes that it’s possible the Pooh film was simply blocked due to China only allowing a certain number of foreign films in its theaters annually, the Huffington Post pointed out that Chinese censors have been relentlessly scrubbing Pooh-related material from the web.
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) August 8, 2018
In June, China blocked HBO’s website after host John Oliver devoted a considerable amount of time criticizing President Xi Jinping and China’s notorious crackdowns on dissent, at a time when Xi is trying to rebrand himself.
Xi “is very sensitive about his perceived resemblance to Winnie the Pooh,” said Oliver.
In addition to calling out China over human rights violations and various forms of propaganda, Oliver pointed out that Xi is very sensitive Winnie the Pooh comparisons. The Daily News reported at the time that HBO.com has been blocked for 100% of Chinese internet users following the segment – citing internet monitoring website Greatfire.org.
Well, at least we can look look forward to many more years of subversive Winnie the Pooh memes. Here’s a retrospective from 2013 to this week: pic.twitter.com/pqgW02gTqe
— Megha Rajagopalan (@meghara) February 26, 2018
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