China’s Largest Social Media Platform Has Banned John Oliver

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has made a name for itself with its deep dive segments, which recently set its sights on more domestic fare, like the Trump-friendly Sinclair Broadcasting to the NRA’s media arm. Yet the former Daily Show correspondent’s HBO powerhouse has also made international headlines, like when it covered the rise of the Philippines’ own Trump, Rodrigo Duterte. The latter ultimately became a significant talking point in American political circles and news media shortly thereafter. So what’s on Oliver’s mind this time? Chinese President Xi Jinping, who in turn banned the comic from his country’s social media.

On Sunday’s episode, Oliver and the Last Week Tonight team dedicated their entire deep dive to Jinping’s rise to power, and it seems the 65-year-old politician wasn’t pleased. According to The New York Times, Oliver and his show are now banned from Chinese social media:

Attempts to create posts containing the words “John Oliver” on Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging platform, resulted in an error message on Thursday saying the post may violate “rules and regulations.” Quite a few posts mentioning Mr. Oliver were visible on the platform, but none referred to the China episode, and the most recent had been posted a few days before it aired.

Chief among Oliver’s offenses? Mentioning Jinping’s distaste for comparisons between him and Winnie the Pooh, which his government banned in February. “Apparently, Xi Jinping is very sensitive about his perceived resemblance to Winnie the Pooh,” Oliver joked. “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. Trust me, Xi. If your face even remotely resembles a beloved cartoon character, the smart move here is to lean in.”


(Via New York Times)