Fans of Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves in China may no longer be able to watch his movies.
Most of Reeves’ films have been removed from Chinese streaming platforms, including The Matrix series. The latest development comes after Reeves was announced as a performer for the 35th annual Tibet House benefit concert in January. According to the Los Angeles Times, the development came just after the Canadian actor’s latest film The Matrix: Resurrections became the first blockbuster to hit Chinese theaters in more than two months. The film had ended a protracted shortage of censorship approvals on U.S. titles in a year of growing geopolitical tensions and further chilling relations with Hollywood.
However, in January this year, Reeves took part in the Tibet Benefit alongside other notable Hollywood celebrities including Laurie Anderson, Patti Smith, Cyndi Lauper and Iggy Pop. The event took place virtually for the second consecutive year earlier this month.
China has been quite adamant about its claims to Tibet and often reacts sharply when international public figures, companies from countries voice their support for the independence of the northern Himalayan plateau. Chinese forces had captured Tibet in 1949, leaving many people, including the leader of Tibetan Buddhists, the Dalai Lama, to seek refuge in India. Since seizing Tibet, China has claimed the territory as its own.
So when Reeves expressed his support for Tibetan independence earlier this year, Chinese nationalists took to social media to protest the actor. China’s anger towards Reeves became more concrete this month after the Asian country’s major streamers removed the majority of his filmography from their sites and even scrubbed search results linked to his name in Chinese.
The Los Angeles Times reported that “Sorry, no results were found related to ‘Keanu Reeves'” popped up on the iQiyi platform with this added text, “Due to relevant laws, regulations, and policies, some results may not are not displayed. »
The report also added that animated films like Toy Story 4, which features Reeves as the voice of stuntman Duke Caboom, remain online; his credits are unusual. The credits appear in English except for the voice cast, which switches to Chinese and only lists the local dub cast, avoiding any mention of the actor who ignited national spirits.
After Chinese nationalists threatened to boycott Keanue Reeves’ latest movie “The Matrix: Resurrections,” it turns out that Reeves’ former films have now been erased from streaming platforms in China. https://t.co/fpciUVNpNm pic.twitter.com/8iEkuZJepb
— IndieWire (@IndieWire) March 24, 2022