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‘Winnie the Pooh’ Pulled from Hong Kong Cinemas

A British horror film featuring a murderous version of Winnie the Pooh was pulled from theaters in Hong Kong and Macao on Tuesday by its distributor VII Pillars Entertainment, without giving any explanation.

The film, titled 'Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey', had sparked online discussions over censorship and political pressure from China, where the lovable bear has been banned for years because of his resemblance to President Xi Jinping.

Chinese internet users have often used Winnie the Pooh as a playful way to mock Xi and express dissent, but authorities have blocked searches and images of the character on social media platforms. In 2018, China also denied the release of Disney’s “Christopher Robin,” a live-action film that featured Winnie the Pooh and his friends.

The cancellation of 'Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey', which was scheduled to be shown in about 30 cinemas in Hong Kong, raised concerns about the erosion of freedoms in the city under a sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020.

The law allows officials to ban films that are deemed "contrary" to national security interests.

March 22, 2023 |

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