Earlier this year, Tibet House U.S. announced the lineup for a benefit concert celebrating the nonprofit’s 35th year in existence. The lineup for the virtual event included an array of prominent artists, including Patti Smith and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. One name on the bill sparked an all-too-predictable international reaction, however: Keanu Reeves, who read an Allen Ginsberg poem.
In the wake of the lineup announcement, some Chinese nationalists took to social media to call for a boycott of the Reeves-starring The Matrix Resurrections. That was in late January. Two months later, the Chinese government has responded to Reeves’s support for Tibet — and their reaction is much worse than a boycott of just one film.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, a host of Chinese streaming services have excised the bulk of Reeves’s filmography from their archives, as well as mentions of his name in the films that weren’t nixed outright — such as Toy Story 4.
The article goes on to note that Reeves has worked closely with the Chinese film industry in the past, including the 2013 film Man of Tai Chi, which he directed and co-starred in. Said film was an international co-production, and it debuted at the Beijing International Film Festival.
It’s a significant change for an actor who’s long been popular in China — but it’s also a principled stand on Reeves’s part.