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Mahmoud Bennett

Social Media Producer/Reporter

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International

Hong Kong cinemas will not show ‘Winnie the Pooh’ horror film

Mar 22, 2023

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Mahmoud Bennett

Social Media Producer/Reporter

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Hong Kong cinemas will not be screening a new Winnie the Pooh horror film in its territories, according to the movie’s distributor. The movie, which puts a scary spin on the classic Winnie the Pooh children’s show, was released in the U.S. back in February.

The original, family-friendly version of Winnie the Pooh has been used in humorous references to depict to President Xi Jinping in recent years. The depiction was born out of a popular 2013 meme showing President Xi and former President Obama alongside two Winnie the Pooh characters.

However, according to Reuters, the reference has also been used by some as a symbol of protest against President Xi.

China banned the film “Christopher Robin” in 2018. Three years later, Hong Kong implemented a censorship law barring films that “endorse, support, glorify, encourage and incite activities that might endanger national security.”

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Xi-Pooh comparison was seen as a gold mine for entertainment, with shows like “South Park” making references to the joke in several episodes.

Hong Kong officials denied the new Winnie the Pooh film had been censored. The Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration said it had issued a certificate of approval for the horror movie, according to Reuters.

However, the film’s director Rhys Frake-Waterfield said “the cinemas agreed to show it, then all independently come to the same decision overnight. It won’t be a coincidence.” He added “They claim technical reasons but there is no technical reason. The film has showed in over 4,000 cinema screens worldwide.”

“Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” went viral when its trailer was released. The horror movie currently has a score of only 4% on the film rating site Rotten Tomatoes.

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MAHMOUD BENNETT:

CINEMAS IN HONG KONG WILL NOT BE AIRING A NEW WINNIE THE POOH HORROR FILM THIS YEAR ACCORDING TO THE MOVIE’S DISTRIBUTOR

THE FILM, WHICH TAKES A SCARY SPIN ON THE CLASSIC WINNIE THE POOH CHILDREN’S SHOW WAS RELEASED IN THE US BACK IN FEBRUARY – BUT IN CHINA THE FRANCHISE AT LARGE HAS BEEN CONTROVERSIAL OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS – THAT’S BECAUSE.. WELL.. SOME PEOPLE SEE WINNIE THE POOH AS PRESIDENT XI JIN PING’S TWIN …

SOUTHPARK SCENE: “SOME PEOPLE SAID POOH LOOKED LIKED THE CHINESE PRESIDENT SO WE’RE ILLEGAL IN CHINA NOW”

MAHMOUD BENNETT:

THE JOKE WAS BORN OUT OF A POPULAR MEME IN 2013 WHEN THIS IMAGE SHOWING PRESIDENT XI AND FORMER PRESIDENT OBAMA ALONGSIDE TWO CHARACTERS WENT VIRAL – THE REFERENCE HAS SINCE BEEN USED TO PROTEST PRESIDENT XI

CHINA BANNED THE FILM CHRISTOPHER ROBIN IN 2018 AND THREE YEARS LATER HONG KONG IMPLEMENTED A CENSORSHIP LAW BARRING FILMS THAT QUOTE “ENDORSE, SUPPORT, OR ENCOURAGE ACTIVITIES THAT MIGHT ENDANGER NATIONAL SECURITY”

MEANWHILE IN THE US – THE XI-POOH COMPARISON WAS *OF COURSE* A GOLD MINE FOR ENTERTAINMENT

SOUTHPARK SCENE: “DO YOU HAVE SOME HONEY?” 

MAHMOUD BENNETT:

HONG KONG OFFICIALS DENY THE NEW WINNIE THE POOH FILM WAS BANNED SAYING THEY APPROVED IT – THOUGH A SOURCE WHO SPOKE TO REUTERS SAID THE CINEMA OUTLETS THERE LATER COLLECTIVELY DECIDED NOT TO AIR IT

THAT’S YOUR QUICK BREAKDOWN WITH US STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS – UNBIASED STRAIGHT FACTS