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May 19, 2019

John Oliver censored on Chinese social media site after equating president to Winnie the Pooh

June 21, 2018
John Oliver took aim at Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight.” (Eric Liebowitz/HBO via AP)

China is censoring John Oliver from one of its popular blogging platforms after the talk show host railed on the country’s censorship laws and mentioned its president’s comparisons to Winnie the Pooh.

On his Sunday evening show, “Last Week Tonight,” Oliver criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping’s censorship practices, poking fun of the leader’s alleged resemblance to beloved Disney character, Winnie the Pooh — who is also censored in China.

“Apparently, Xi Jinping is very sensitive about his perceived resemblance to Winnie the Pooh,” Oliver said. “(But) clamping down on Winnie the Pooh comparisons doesn’t exactly project strength.

“And I’m not even sure it’s that strong a resemblance, to be honest. But the fact he’s annoyed about it means people will never stop bringing it up.”

And, by bringing it up, Oliver’s show has now apparently been banned from appearing on China’s microblogging platform, Weibo. Any attempt to create a post with Oliver’s name produces an error message that says it violates the site’s “rules and regulations,” the New York Times reported.

Oliver dedicated the rest of his rant to slamming the President of China for “dystopian levels of surveillance and persecution” of Uighur Muslims in the country and for imprisoning dissenters, like Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo. He further said that Xi was dismantling presidential term limits put in place to prevent a ruler like “another Mao” from seizing power.

“It’s worth knowing that the term limits he had successfully eliminated were put in place for a pretty good reason,” Oliver said, “specifically to avoid another Mao, under whose regime some horrific things happened in China.”

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