Winnie the Pooh had to grin and bear it after being banned from central Madrid while Chinese President Xi Jinping drove by, according to a report.
A street performer who dresses up as the honey-hunting bear said cops asked him to stay away as Xi’s motorcade rumbled past Sol Square this week because the Chinese leader could have been offended if he saw the lovable character, The Telegraph reported.
“If it’s offensive, I understand that they would ask me to step aside,” said the man, who was reminded that social media posts in China have compared Xi’s appearance to that of the Disney darling.
Memes comparing Xi with Pooh began in 2013 when the Chinese president met President Obama, who was cast as a bouncy Tigger, another character from A.A. Milne’s book “The House at Pooh Corner.”
The following year, a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe led to similar memes featuring Pooh accompanied by the gloomy figure of Eeyore the donkey.
Earlier this year, Chinese authorities also denied the release of Disney’s “Christopher Robin,” starring Ewan McGregor and a computer-generated Pooh, who has become a symbol of resistance in the country.
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