Keanu Reeves films reportedly scrubbed from Chinese streaming platforms over his support for Tibet

Chinese streaming platforms have reportedly pulled multiple Keanu Reeves films off their sites after his participation in the annual Tibet House Benefit Concert earlier this month.

The 57-year-old actor participated in the virtual concert alongside Laurie Anderson, Patti Smith, Cyndi Lauper, and Iggy Pop on 3 March.

Soon after, Chinese nationalists took to social media to protest his participation.

The status of Tibet is the subject of a decades-old dispute. While Beijing maintains that Tibet is an inalienable part of China, Tibetans say their country has historically been independent.

In the past, China has blacklisted many celebrities who have expressed support for Tibet or its former head of state, the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama has been living in exile in India since 1959, following China’s annexation of Tibet in 1950.

At least 19 of Reeves’s films were removed from major Chinese streaming platforms like Tencent Video and Youku last week, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Actor Keanu Reeves during the Canadian premiere of The Matrix Resurrections film on 16 December 2021 (Reuters)
Actor Keanu Reeves during the Canadian premiere of The Matrix Resurrections film on 16 December 2021 (Reuters)

Some of the deleted films include The Matrix, The Lake House, Something’s Gotta Give, and Speed. So far, it is unclear who ordered the deletion.

The Independent has contacted Reeves, Tencent Video, and Youku’s representatives for comment.

In 2016, China banned Lady Gaga after she met with the Dalai Lama to discuss yoga.

At the time, the singer posted a 20-minute video of herself with the Dalai Lama where she asked the leader a series of questions from viewers.

Soon after that, Weibo users started condemning the singer, with some saying: “Lady Gaga, you’re never coming back to China.”

On Instagram at the time there was a mixture of comments and debate on Chinese and Tibetan politics. One user wrote: “You make your Chinese fans disappointed and annoyed”, while another said “meeting him [the Dalai Lama] is harmful to most of the Chinese people”.