- Films starring Keanu Reeves were scrubbed from streaming platforms in China after he showed support for Tibet.
- The actor incurred the wrath of Chinese social media users after they learned he would be part of a Tibet benefit concert.
- Tibet is a politically sensitive region with a history of resistance to China’s central government.
Films starring Keanu Reeves have reportedly been pulled from several Chinese streaming platforms after he showed support for Tibet, a politically sensitive region with a history of resistance to China’s central government.
In January, the Hollywood actor incurred the wrath of Chinese social media users when they learned he would be participating in a virtual benefit concert for Tibet on March 3.
On March 14, the actor’s films were removed from major platforms, including Tencent Video, Youku, and iQiyi, per the Los Angeles Times. However, it remains unclear if this was done due to a state-issued censorship directive or if the platforms took action independently.
Among the films affected were some of Reeves’ biggest hits like “Speed,” “The Matrix” trilogy, and “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” per the LA Times.
When Insider searched the actor’s name in Chinese on iQiyi, Tencent Video, and Youku, no results were returned. Reeves’ talent representative did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The actor is the latest foreign celebrity to tread on China’s toes for showing support for Tibet.
Popstar Lady Gaga has been banned from performing in the country since 2016 after she held a 19-minute meeting with the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader viewed by Beijing as a separatist. Actor Richard Gere’s films are also reportedly banned in China due to his close ties with the Dalai Lama.
Beyond the Tibet issue, Canadian pop star Justin Bieber found himself banned from performing in China in 2017 after posting a picture of himself visiting the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan. The act caused a stir as the shrine commemorates Japan’s war dead and is widely regarded in China and South Korea as symbolizing Japan’s lack of remorse for its wartime atrocities.