Winnie The Pooh horror film’s release cancelled in Hong Kong

Winnie The Pooh

The Winnie The Pooh horror film has had its Hong Kong release cancelled.

The screening of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey was due to take place in the special administrative region of China this week. However, it would seem that the horror film‘s release has now been cancelled without a reason being provided.

VII Pillars Entertainment said on its Meta socials (both Facebook and Instagram) that it was with “great regret” that the scheduled release of the film on 23 March had been cancelled. Despite the short notice, there were no further details as to why it had been pulled.

The Guardian speculated that the sudden cancellation may have been down to Chinese censors, who have in the past targeted the film’s main character, Pooh. This is despite the fact that the bear was originally created by the English author AA Milne, with the first Pooh story being released in 1926.

However, in more recent political history memes have appeared that compare the bumbling bear to President Xi Jinping. The comparisons began in 2013 when Xi visited the US and met his then counterpart, Barack Obama, and some online commentators seized on their likeness to Pooh and Tigger.

Hong Kong’s Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration told Reuters that it had issued a certificate of approval to the applicant. “The arrangements of cinemas in Hong Kong on the screening of individual films with certificates of approval in their premises are the commercial decisions of the cinemas concerned, and OFNAA would not comment on such arrangements,” a spokesperson said.

A new censorship law in Hong Kong came into effect in 2021, a move seemingly linked to crackdowns on outspoken critics of the Chinese government in Hong Kong, that bars the screening or distribution of films that “endorse, support, glorify, encourage and incite activities that might endanger national security”.

Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong in 2020 after the city was rocked by anti-government protests. The law sets out punishments for anything deemed to be subversion, secession, colluding with foreign forces and terrorism.

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