Chinese Nationalists Threaten ‘Matrix’ Boycott After Keanu Reeves Backs Tibet

After "Matrix Resurrections" star Keanu Reeves joined a Tibet House U.S. Benefit Concert, Chinese nationalists clapped back with a boycott.
Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves
Sthanlee B. Mirador/Sipa USA

The Matrix Resurrections” has breathed new life into a political debate.

On January 27, Chinese nationalists threatened to boycott the fourth installment of the “Matrix” franchise after star Keanu Reeves joined the Tibet House U.S. Benefit Concert in March.

“Resurrections,” which had its U.S. premiere December 18, has already grossed $12.3 million after a 14-day release in China, according to Endata (via Variety).

“How can Keanu Reeves not understand this and take part in a pro-Tibet independence concert?” CHINAD8, an account on Chinese social media site Weibo, posted January 21. “Aren’t these celebrities afraid of losing the China market?”

The backlash from Chinese patriots, who collectively identify as “little pinks,” could potentially impact the box office numbers in China.

“The film [‘The Matrix Resurrections’] can be taken down now,” another Weibo user wrote. “Get out of the Chinese market, thank you.”

Reeves joined the virtual pro-Tibet benefit concert, set for March 3, along with artists Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, Trey Anastasio, and Jason Isbell. Composer Philip Glass serves as the event’s artistic director. The concert will be streamed on Mandolin, with proceeds benefitting the Tibet House U.S.

This isn’t the first time that China’s relations with Tibet has impacted a film’s release. Richard Gere reportedly lost out on movie deals due to his stance on Tibet and close ties with the 14th Dalai Lama. Brad Pitt was also blacklisted in China due to his role in “Seven Years in Tibet,” and Selena Gomez was exiled for taking a picture with the Dalai Lama.

"Matrix: Resurrections"
“The Matrix Resurrections”Warner Bros

Reeves, too, is known for using his fame for good: The beloved actor was rumored to have donated a percentage of his “Resurrections” salary to cancer research, and also paid for the crew to attend the San Francisco premiere.

Former “Matrix” stunt double Chad Stahelski, who went on to direct Reeves in all four of the “John Wick” films, confirmed that Reeves flew team members up to the Bay Area to partake in the film release festivities.

“He’s incredibly generous,” Stahelski said, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. “In the audience tonight will be so many people that helped him, from his martial art trainers to jiu-jitsu trainers to hair and makeup to his stunt crew. He makes sure that his friends and family are here. He’s epic.”

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