Chinese fans of Keanu Reeves are in for disappointment the next time they want to watch John Wick or Speed, as according to a new report, films starring the prolific actor have been completely wiped from the Communist country’s major streaming services in response to his attendance of a benefit concert in honor of Tibet.
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As detailed by The Los Angeles Times reporter Rebecca Davis on March 24th, “Last Monday, China’s major streamers removed the vast majority of Reeves’ filmography from their sites and wiped search results related to his name in Chinese — the cumbersome transliteration ‘Jinu Liweisi.’
On one platform, iQiyi, a search for Keanu Reeves now reportedly returns a result of “Sorry, no results related to ‘Keanu Reeves’ were found. Due to relevant laws, regulations and policies, some results are not shown.”
Reeves’ films were also confirmed to have been removed from Tencent Video, Youku, Migu Video, and even video upload sites such as Bilibili and Xigua Video.
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Curiously, Toy Story 4, in which Reeves plays the Canadian stunt man toy Duke Caboom, still remains available on these platforms, though with a less-than-subtle caveat.
“Its credits are unusual,” explains Davis. “They unfurl in English except for the voice cast, which alone switches over to Chinese and lists only the local dubbing cast, avoiding any mention of Reeves’ name.”
Speaking with Davis under the condition of anonymity, one professional critic explained that though “the situation hasn’t attracted massive attention yet” within China, “nationalism is so rampant in today’s society that if the Chinese government were to publicize this in state media, most Chinese people would definitely hate Keanu for it.”
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Though no representatives for either the Chinese government or any of the affected video platforms have given an official explanation for the wide ban on Reeves’ work, Davis notes that earlier this month, the actor participated in the 35th annual Tibet House Benefit Concert, a charity event associated with the spiritual leader of the East Asian country, the Dalai Lama.
Thereat, Reeves recited the poem Pull My Daisy, written by the Beat poet trio of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady.
Given that China still considers the independent nation to be their territory, it’s likely that his appearance at the event caused outrage amongst the country’s officials, thus prompting them to take steps to limit his fame – and thus his message of a free Tibet – amongst their people.
What do you make of Reeves’ memory-holing from Chinese streaming services? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!
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