The fear of honey-loving Winnie The Pooh is giving the Chinese government nightmares.
Christopher Robin, Disney’s latest movie to hit the screens, was recently denied a release by China’s censor board. Christopher Robin is a live-action film which stars Ewan McGregor in the leading role.
Now, why was the movie banned?
Well according to a report by the BBC, there isn’t a specific reason to the ban, however, there are ‘rumours’ that the Chinese government is reportedly blocking images of our favourite honey-loving Pooh bear from the internet FOR YEARS due to comparisons (Read: Memes) between Winnie the Pooh and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.
These memes flooded the social media in 2013, when Xi and former US President Barack Obama were pictured walking together.
In the said memes, people have compared Xi to Winnie the Pooh and Obama to Tigger.
However, it did not stop there. Xi was again compared to Pooh in 2014 during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was instead assigned the character of the gloomy donkey, Eeyore.
And that’s not all, folks. In 2015, a picture showing Xi Jinping riding in a motorcade alongside an image of Winnie the Pooh in a toy car was reportedly labelled as ‘China's most censored photo’ by political analysis company Global Risk Insights.
Since then the comparison between Pooh and Xi has continued for years and a cartoon character became a symbol of the Chinese resistance against the currently ruling Communist Party, prompting the Chinese authorities to block the character from China. Oh well.
According to Fox News, in June this year, Chinese authorities had also blocked HBO’s website after “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver cracked jokes at the expense of the Chinese president, mocking his sensitivity when being compared to a fictional cartoon character.
However, another reason is emerging and it may have nothing to do with Xi or Winnie the Pooh.
Apparently, China has an annual foreign film quota and this year it has been set at 34, limiting the number of foreign movies that can be allowed a release in the country. Recently, Disney’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ too was denied a release in China.