Keanu Reeves is Not Alone. These Celebrities Are Also Banned in China.
The John Wick star joins a who’s-who list of Hollywood stars who are persona non grata.
Keanu Reeves is no stranger to making it onto lists. He has been nominated for awards, ranging from MTV Best Kiss to Razzies, nabbed a spot on the coveted Time 100 list and was even voted People's Sexiest Man Alive. Recently, the beloved actor nabbed a spot on another kind of list, filled with some of the biggest actors, singers, and influencers in the world: China's blacklist. After supporting the Tibet House benefit, his movies were removed from screening platforms in the country, according to the Los Angeles Times, at least 19 movies were pulled from Tencent Video. What other stars are banned in Hollywood, aside from Keanu Reeves? Keep reading to find out.
Harrison Ford and Keanu Reeves have more in common than having some of the most successful movie franchises attached to their names: Both are banned in China for their support of Tibet. Back in 1995, Ford's then-wife Melissa Mathison wrote a film called Kundun, which centered around Tibet's fourteenth Dalai Lama dealing with Chinese oppression. Both Martin Scorsese, the film's director, and Disney (yes, the entire brand) were banned in China for their attachment to the movie. In 1995, the Indiana Jones actor testified about human rights violations in China in front of the United States Foreign Relations Committee. He also argued for Tibetan independence. He has been banned ever since.
Lady Gaga is a non grata performer in China. In 2011, the outspoken singer was first reprimanded in China when some of her music was banned for being too vulgar. However, her music and presence in the country was completely condemned when she met with the Dalai Lama in 2016 to discuss two of her passions: Yoga and compassion.
There's obviously a pattern here: Support Tibet, and you get banned from China. Of course, Brad Pitt, star of the 1997 hit film Seven Years in Tibet, also made China's blacklist for negatively portraying China. Initially Brad was totally banned from entering the country. However, apparently the Chinese government didn't hold a grudge. He was later let into the country in 2014 and 2016.
No, China didn't take offense to Katy Perry kissing a girl, when they banned her from entering the country in 2017. Shortly before the pop star was set to headline a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, her visa was denied. Why? The government learned that during one of her concerts, she dangled a Taiwanese flag over her body and also had worn a sunflower gown. They interpreted both as support for Taiwan independence, which China does not support.
It's not Justin Bieber's political or social beliefs that got him blacklisted in China. According to Beijing's cultural bureau, he is simply a bad cultural influence. In a statement they revealed that the singer "has engaged in a series of bad behaviors…which caused discontent among the public."
Miley Cyrus is not welcomed in China due to a 2009 photograph of the singer and her friends, in which they seemed to mock the appearance of Asians. "Miss Cyrus has made it clear she is no friend of China or anyone of East Asian descent," officials declared at the time. Cyrus later apologized, maintaining that she was just making "a silly face" and didn't intend to offend anyone. "I have learned a valuable lesson from this and know that sometimes my actions can be unintentionally hurtful."