Chinese audience won't be seeing Christopher Robin
The upcoming Winnie the Pooh film has been banned in China after people compared the character to President Xi Jinping.
According to The Guardian, Winnie the Pooh film Christopher Robin has been blocked by Chinese censors due to comparisons with President Xi Jinping.
The comparisons began in 2013 when Xi visited the US. An image of Xi and Barack Obama walking together triggered memes of a shorter Winnie walking with a lanky Tigger.
Winnie the Pooh is banned in China cause Xi Jinping hates memes pic.twitter.com/CqxECm33T9
— Joseph (@WhiteCurryLover) August 4, 2018
Xi was then compared with Pooh during a meeting with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, who was compared to with Eeyore.
— KAKAPO➤Endangered (@178kakapo) April 30, 2015
Censors began blocking images that mocked the Chinese president. HBO was blocked last month when John Oliver mocked Xi’s sensitivity over his comparisons with the character.
An image showing Xi and Winnie during a military parade became 2015’s most censored image. The Chinese government viewed the meme as “a serious effort to undermine the dignity of the presidential office and Xi himself”.
“Authoritarian regimes are often touchy, yet the backlash is confusing since the government is effectively squashing an potential positive, and organic, public image campaign for Xi,” the report said at the time.
“Beijing’s reaction is doubly odd given the fact that Xi has made substantial efforts to create a cult of personality showing him as a benevolent ruler.”
China only allows 34 foreign films to be released in cinemas every year, which also could have led to the film’s ban. A Wrinkle in Time was blocked earlier this year too.