China bans Winnie the Pooh film after comparisons to President Xi
Hossen Sohel: China’s film authorities have denied a release to Disney’s new Winnie the Pooh film, reports BBC.
Winnie the Pooh, also called Pooh Bear, is a fictional anthropomorphic teddy bear created by English author A. A. Milne.
No reason has been given for the decision, but it is believed to be part of a nationwide clampdown on references to the beloved children’s character.
Chinese authorities have been blocking images of Pooh on social media since last year, after the bear became a symbol of political dissent.
It is after the Chinese leader Xi Jinping has been compared to the bear.
The comparisons began in 2013 when an image of Xi walking with President Barack Obama was posted alongside a picture of Pooh walking next to Tigger.
Then in 2014, a picture of Xi shaking hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shared along with a picture of Pooh with Eeyore.
As the memes grew popularity, Chinese censors began blocking images, GIFs and mentions of the bear across social media.
In 2015, a picture showing Xi in a motorcade alongside an image of a Winnie the Pooh in a toy car was called “China’s most censored photo”.
In June, China censored comedian John Oliver and HBO’s website after the British talk show host ran a segment on his US show, Last Week Tonight, criticising Xi and China. In the roast, he also mentioned the President’s sensitivity to being compared to the bear.