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Hollywood Actor Keanu Reeves Gets Cancelled by China

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Streaming platforms in China including Tencent Video and iQiyi have taken down films and movie content starring Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves after he participated in a Tibet-related concert.

According to Reuters, among the films that have been removed are the Matrix and John Wick franchises, as well as Speed. At least 19 of his films of the Canadian actor have been removed from Tencent Video. No timeframe was given for the removal of the films.

WeChat, China’s version of WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger still has content related to the Matrix films and Reeves’s other work. However, searching for his English name and its Chinese translation failed to turn up any results.

IQiyi and Tencent Holdings, which owns Tencent Video and WeChat, did not respond to requests for comment. Reeves’ representatives were also unavailable to comment.

After it emerged that Reeves planned to appear in a concert organized by Tibet House US, a non-profit organization founded at the request of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Social media users in China attacked him harshly.

The Matrix in China Boycotted

The Matrix: Resurrections, which opened in China on January 14, has been boycotted by many online commenters. In any event, the blockbuster starring Reeves remained in theatres and bore no apparent consequences for the actor.

Tibet House US Concert was virtually held due to restrictions aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19, provoking more online criticism.

At the 35th Tibet House US concert, with Philip Glass serving as artistic director, artists such as Glass, Cyndi Lauper, Trey Anastasio, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, Jason Isbell, Angélique Kidjo, and The Fiery Furnaces performed.

It is still possible to stream Glass’s works in China, where his works are still regularly performed on concert stages.

Fomenting Separatism in Tibet

China accuses the Dalai Lama, living in exile in neighboring India, of fomenting separatism in the Tibet region. Instead, it recognizes the current Panchen Lama, appointed by the Communist Party, as Tibet’s highest religious figure.

The former NBA player Enes Kanter of the Boston Celtics, who played at the time for the Beijing Olympics, is another high-profile Western figure who has been banned from Chinese social media for criticizing China’s actions in Tibet.

Reeves has been a household name in China since the 1990s, gaining additional visibility from his Chinese-Hawaiian roots.

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