Keanu Reeves scrubbed from Chinese streaming platforms over Tibet support

Keanu Reeves scrubbed from Chinese streaming platforms over Tibet support
Image: Warner Bros. Pictures
Michelle De Pacina
March 25, 2022
Films starring Canadian actor Keanu Reeves were removed from Chinese streaming platforms due to his support for Tibet’s independence from China.
Major Chinese streaming services, including Tencent Video, iQiyi, Bilibili and Xigua Video, reportedly took down the actor’s films following his public support for Tibet and his participation as a performer at the virtual 35th Annual Tibet House Benefit Concert on March 3.
“The Matrix: Resurrections” star faced major backlash from Chinese nationalists earlier this year as Chinese fans threatened to boycott his latest movie. The concert was organized by the New York-based nonprofit organization Tibet House US, which was founded by the supporters of the Dalai Lama.
The Chinese Communist Party has long claimed Tibet to be an integral part of China and views the nonprofit organization as a pro-Tibetan independence group.
It remains unclear whether the removal of Reeves’ films were state-issued censorship or independent actions from the platforms. At least 19 films were scrubbed from Tencent Video, including “The Matrix” trilogy, “Speed” and “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”
On the platform iQiyi, searches for his English name and its Chinese translation lead to a result reading, “Sorry, no results related to ‘Keanu Reeves’ were found. Due to relevant laws, regulations and policies, some results are not shown,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The streaming platforms ​​Youku and Migu Video still feature the 2019 Pixar film “Toy Story 4,” in which Reeves served as a voice actor; however, its credits only lists the local dubbing cast, without any mention of the Canadian actor.
Reeves is the latest Western actor to join the list of celebrities who have been canceled in China due to their public support for Tibet. The films of American actor Richard Gere were reportedly banned in China due to his support for the Dalai Lama. Singer-songwriter and actor Lady Gaga has also banned from performing in China since 2016 following her 19-minute meeting with the Dalai Lama.
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