An upcoming movie featuring Winnie the Pooh, a cartoon bear, is banned from release in China, as internet bloggers in the nation have taken to comparing Chinese President Xi Jinping to the iconic children’s story character.
Chinese officials, who only permit 34 foreign-made films per year to be shown in the country, did not give an explanation for denying the release of the movie Christopher Robin.
Since Xi first came to office in 2013, users of the nation’s most popular social media website, Weibo, have taken to posting memes comparing the president to the plump toy bear, memes the government has taken to censoring.
In 2015, political analysis firm Global Risk Insights deemed a meme comparing Xi and Winnie to be “China’s most censored photo of 2015.”
And in June, British comedian John Oliver was censored from Weibo after he criticized Chinese censorship on a segment of his TV show, Last Week Tonight. The segment made light of earlier censoring of Winnie the Pooh in the nation.
Winnie the Pooh was created by British author A.A. Milne in the 1920s. The bear is best known for his friendly yet naive demeanor, and his love of honey.