A British horror parody of Winnie the Pooh was canceled in Hong Kong Tuesday without explanation, according to Reuters.
The movie’s distributor, VII Pillars Entertainment, canceled the screening of “Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey” amid China’s policy regarding the yellow bear and its comparison to Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to Reuters. VII Pillars Entertainment apologized on Facebook for the abrupt cancelation of the movie’s distribution, apologizing “for the disappointment and inconvenience.”
The beloved A.A. Milne character has been the target of frequent censorship, since the yellow bear’s likeness was compared to that of Xi in numerous memes, according to Reuters.
The comparisons began in 2013 when Xi went to the U.S. and met then-U.S. President Barack Obama, prompting online commentators to note the couple’s similarity to Winnie The Pooh and Tigger, respectively, according to Reuters. The character has since become a symbol of political dissent.
In 2021, China’s government expanded its authority to cancel and remove movies deemed offensive, according to Reuters. The law can bar movies that “endorse, support, glorify, encourage and incite activities that might endanger national security.”
Two movies have already been removed from the theatres last year for not getting approval from the authorities, according to Reuters.
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