Xi Jinping's hatred for Winnie the Pooh character is not new. In 2017, when people on the internet began drawing similarities between the Chinese President and the appearance of Pooh, the character was banned in the country. But if you think that Xi Jinping regime has left behind its hatred for the character, you are wrong.
Hong Kong and Macau have ‘banned’ the release of a new horror film titled "Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey" that was set to release there on March 23. The film was released in the US in February and across the UK in March. The movie features Winnie the Pooh as the protagonist.
The ban is not directly implied, but it was camouflaged in the name of ‘technical errors’. According to BBC, Hong Kong's Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration denied that the film had been censored, saying it had issued a certificate of approval for the horror movie.
Not new: However, similar ‘technical errors’ occurred in 2018, when Chinese censors denied the release of Christopher Robin, a film adaptation of AA Milne’s beloved story about Winnie the Pooh.
VII Pillars Entertainment, the movie distributor in China, apologised for the "disappointment and inconvenience" to viewers in the Chinese special administrative regions.
However, according to Reuters, The film's director Rhys Frake-Waterfield said, "The cinemas agreed to show it, then all independently come to the same decision overnight. It won't be a coincidence.’
The horror movie has received a score of just 4% on the film rating site Rotten Tomatoes. It depicts the bear, known for being kind and honest, as a vengeful axe-wielding half-man, half-bear.
Winnie the Pooh, Xi Jingping's nemesis since 2013: In China, the popular character Winnie the Pooh has been banned since 2018 due to its supposed resemblance to the country's President Xi Jinping.
The resemblance was first noticed by netizens in 2013 when Xi visited the United States and was compared to Pooh, while former President Barack Obama was likened to the tiger from the same series. The comparison caught on, and Xi was widely referred to as Pooh in China. As a result of this association, the Chinese government has banned all Pooh-related content in the country. This includes movies, television shows, and even stuffed toys. The ban has been in place since 2018 and remains enforced to this day.
The situation escalated in 2014 when a viral meme featuring Jinping and then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gained popularity. The Chinese government was reportedly unhappy with the comparison, and the censorship of Pooh-related content became even more strict.
Hidden #SOS message in this photo of #PengShaui: Panda is China's “national treasure”, or Guobao 國寶 in Chinese. Secret police is National Security, which sounds Guobao 國保 too. So she is probably saying: I am in the hands of secret police, Winnie the Pooh #XiJinping is behind pic.twitter.com/ofzUTnfsN2— Inconvenient Truths by Jennifer Zeng 曾錚真言 (@jenniferzeng97) November 24, 2021