John Oliver Banned from Chinese Social Media, Proving All His Previous Critiques

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John Oliver Banned from Chinese Social Media, Proving All His Previous Critiques

On Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver critiqued China’s President Xi Jinping for using his massive popularity to hide the human rights violations he’s committed. In the segment, Oliver called out “Uncle Xi” for shutting down his online critics. Now, as if to directly prove Oliver’s point, popular Chinese social media platform Weibo has blocked users from posting about the comedian.

Previously, China’s censors have blocked the use of phrases like “personality cult” and “my emperor” on social media in reference to the president, as well as images comparing Xi’s physical appearance to Winnie the Pooh’s. Oliver had some advice on this front, at least: “Trust me, Xi, if your face even remotely resembles that of a beloved cartoon character, the smart move here is to lean in,” Oliver said next to a graphic comparing his own image to The Lion King’s Zazu (whom, because fate is a fickle mistress, Oliver will be voicing in the forthcoming live adaptation).

Now, Weibo users trying to post about “John Oliver” or “Last Week Tonight” are met with failure messages reading that “the content contains information that violates relevant laws and regulations.”

In his offending segment, Oliver discussed Xi’s authoritarian grip on Chinese daily life, which ranged from the president’s internment of 800,000 Muslim citizens in religious reeducation camps to the online erasure of any existence of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo—Xiaobo died after seven years in state custody for writing a pro-democracy manifesto, but not before one last photo of him sipping tea from a Winnie the Pooh mug leaked online.

Read a full recap of the segment here and check back for further updates on all the horrifying things Oliver continues to enlighten us on on Last Week Tonight.

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