Keanu Reeves films are reportedly being removed from Chinese streaming platforms following the actor’s public support for Tibet.
Earlier this year, about a month after the release of The Matrix Resurrections, Reeves was announced as a performer at the 35th annual Tibet House Benefit Concert. The concert was organized by Tibet House, a nonprofit founded by supporters of the Dalai Lama that Chinese authorities have labeled “a separatist organization advocating for Tibetan independence,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Reeves attended the virtual concert that was held on March 3 alongside Patti Smith, Cyndi Lauper, Laurie Anderson, and Iggy Pop. Now, after his appearance at the show, it’s being reported by the Los Angeles Times that the Matrix movies, Speed, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Lake House, and more films from the actor’s catalog can no longer be streamed on platforms such as Tencent Video, Youku, and Migu Video.
Even the actor’s directorial debut—the U.S.-China co-production Man Of Tai-Chi— is reportedly unavailable.
The one Reeves picture that is still up and available to stream in the country is Toy Story 4—but that’s because the film’s credits feature the dubbing cast, not the original cast from the American release.
According to the L.A. Times, “It’s unclear who ordered the deletions, China’s regulatory agencies or platforms acting proactively to remove potentially troublesome content.”
This question has arisen in regards to an altered ending to Fight Club, censored episodes of Friends that remove a gay storyline, and an episode of The Simpsons that referenced Tiananmen Square. Is it censorship or simply streamers covering their own butts... from eventually being censored?
While it appeared only Reeves’ films have been banned in China—not the actor himself—plenty of other Hollywood types have been blacklisted for their pro-Tibet stance including Brad Pitt, Selena Gomez, and Richard Gere amongst others.