Entertainment

‘Matrix Resurrections’ star Keanu Reeves faces backlash from Chinese social media users over benefits for Tibet


Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves has drawn the ire of ‘Chinese nationalists’ after it emerged earlier this week that he would be performing at an upcoming benefit concert for Tibet. According to The Hollywood Reporter, some Chinese social media users, known locally as “little roses,” have gone so far as to suggest that Reeves’ recently released “The Matrix Resurrections” should be boycotted in retaliation.

The last “Matrix” film had already failed in China before the revelations about Reeves’ involvement in the pro-Tibet event. The film opened to just $7.5 million and has grossed $12.4 million to date. Therefore, the sudden outrage is unlikely to make much of a difference to the final outcome of the Warner Bros. title.

Potentially the most concerning factor for Reeves’ career is whether he becomes a de facto persona non grata in the Chinese entertainment landscape going forward.

Several Western celebrities have had their personal brands shut out of China’s huge entertainment market after expressing their support for Tibet in the past. Richard Gere was banned from Chinese screens for years for his vocal support of Tibet, a fact he says has cost him movie deals in Hollywood, where studios previously coveted the growth potential of the Chinese market. Brad Pitt was also banned for nearly two decades after starring in the 1997 film “Seven Years” in Tibet. Lady Gaga has effectively been banned from performing in the country since meeting the Dalai Lama in 2016.

It was revealed this week that Reeves will be one of the main performers at the 35th annual Tibet House US benefit concert on March 3, alongside artists including Patti Smith, Trey Anastasio and Jason Isbell. Legendary composer Philip Glass is the artistic director of the concert.

Founded in 1987, Tibet House is a New York-based nonprofit educational organization committed to the preservation of Tibetan culture. The group was created by supporters of the Dalai Lama and authorities in Beijing have branded it a separatist organization advocating Tibetan independence.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Reeves previously had a significant following in China, thanks to both his Chinese ancestry and the fact that he filmed his directorial debut, “Man of Tai Chi,” in the country. with state support. supported by China Film Group.

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