Panda pandering is nothing new as of late. Marvel changed the classic Iron Man Villain The Mandarin to not offend the Chinese market. The Ancient One in Doctor Strange is originally from Tibet, which China does not recognize, so he was change to a woman of Celtic heritage. Star Wars has obviously placed more Chinese characters into the series to help gain their market as well. It is a sure fact that China has been affecting the creativity and writing of American produced media for sometime now.
But lately, China’s control of western media has become more severe, with bans of certain medias and even making American based companies make decisions based on the market. (See our post on Hearthstone player banned after showing support for Hong Kong Protest) This year there have been three major bans, close in timing, making headlines all over social media.
First, was the ban on the loving and positive natured cartoon character Winnie The Pooh. That is correct, the honey loving bear is banned in China. After some people on the internet compared the looks of Pooh Bear to China’s current president, Xi Jinping. It’s funny, and they do look similar, but does this cause concern for a ban on all social media and other media outlets in China? Apparently so.
The next fiasco came with the NBA team the Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Mory expressing support for the protesters in Hong Kong, followed by NBA commissioner Adam Silver saying they will not apologize. Although he admits they regret to offend so many on this hot topic. China shot back by cutting back sponsors, blacking out games, and even postponing an NBA exhibition game in China. This situation is ongoing, as much money is involved with the NBA market in China.
The most recent western media ban in China is the always contreversial, offensive, although funny, South Park. One of the latest episodes of South Park makes China the laughing point of the whole episode, mentioning much as stated above in this article, along with its own absurd false storylines. This episode is worth checking out for the jokes and views. But I’m sure many are thinking, really China? It took you this long to be concerned with South Park? It has made fun of the Chinese many times before, and no one is safe from their satire attacks. That episode can be found on Hulu, or on Comedy Central.