HONG KONG — In a 20-minute segment about China that aired Sunday on the satirical news show “Last Week Tonight,” the host John Oliver brought up President Xi Jinping’s resemblance to Winnie the Pooh.
That, among other delicate references, seems to have touched a nerve in China, where the British comedian has now been censored on a major social media platform — just as the cartoon bear had been.
“Apparently, Xi Jinping is very sensitive about his perceived resemblance to Winnie the Pooh,” Mr. Oliver said on the show. “And I’m not even sure it’s that strong a resemblance, to be honest. But the fact he’s annoyed about it means people will never stop bringing it up.”
Attempts to create posts containing the words “John Oliver” on Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging platform, resulted in an error message on Thursday saying the post may violate “rules and regulations.” Quite a few posts mentioning Mr. Oliver were visible on the platform, but none referred to the China episode, and the most recent had been posted a few days before it aired.