ollowing his ode to Chinese President Xi Jinping, John Oliver has gone the way of Winnie the Pooh, becoming the latest politically-sensitive figure to become blocked on Weibo.
On Sunday night’s show, Oliver gave an impressive overview of contemporary China before ending the segment with a glorious parody of Chinese propaganda videos featuring children singing about the China that “Xi doesn’t want you to see.”
Apparently, China’s leader was not a big fan of the segment. As Inkstone News’ Alan Wong discovered, typing Oliver’s name into Weibo now results in an error message.
— Alan Wong (@alanwongw) June 20, 2018
All references to the comedian from the past week have been removed from the social media network. It’s not clear exactly which part of Oliver’s overview on China drew the ire of Chinese censors, however, it discussed quite a number of taboo topics, including surveillance in Xinjiang, the ongoing house arrest of Liu Xia, and Xi recently becoming “president for life.”
Appropriately, the segment also examined China’s internet censorship, including, most infamously, its periodic banning of Winnie the Pooh for the cartoon character’s resemblance to Xi. Along with that lovable denizen of the Hundred Acre Wood, Oliver joins a diverse array of figures, characters, phrases, and words to be temporarily blocked on China’s Twitter, including: “Kim Fatty III,” “Yuan Shikai,” and the letter N.
Of course, the problem with this kind of censorship is that it will only end up drawing more attention to this segment, particularly because Oliver has quite the reputation for providing updates about how his previous segments have gone over with their intended targets. We have a feeling he might just mention this Weibo ban on next week’s show.