- John Cena did many interviews for his upcoming movie Fast & Furious 9 including in Taiwan
- John Cena addressed Taiwan as a country which did not go down well with the Chinese people
- The Chinese government sees Taiwan as its own territory which is to be seized one day, by force if it comes to it
The 44 year old Fast & Furious 9 star John Cena, on Tuesday, made a U-turn, apologising to the fans and people from China as he addressed Taiwan as a “country” which sparked an outrage in what is the world’s biggest movie market, China.
Beijing sees democratic, self-ruled Taiwan as part of its own territory which is to be seized one day, by force if it comes to it, and rages at any diplomatic attempts who try to recognise the island as an independent nation.
However, the American wrestling star turned actor left his diplomatic lane during his trip to Taiwan in early May to promote the franchise of action and adrenaline filled car chase movies, making the “country” comment during a fan meet.
On Tuesday, as the outrage was seen from every part of China on social media, Cena released an apology on the Weibo platform in conversational-level Mandarin.
Cena, without repeating the controversial term said, “I did many, many interviews for Fast & Furious 9, and I made a mistake during one interview,” in the video.
The 44 year old also said, “I must say, which is very very important, that I love and respect China and Chinese people. I’m very, very sorry for my mistake. I apologise.”
The video has already been played more than 24 lakh times on the strictly-controlled social media site, while Chinese media leapt on the apology.
During Fast & Furious 9’s release in China on the 21st of May, the movie smashed the box office as it made $ 148 million as per the Chinese government run Global Times newspaper.
However, the users on social media appeared only partially appeased.
One user on Weibo said, “Please say ‘Taiwan is part of China’ in Chinese, or we won’t accept it,” while another user lamented the American’s apparent lack of knowledge that “Taiwan is an integral part of China”.
The apology, however, was not missed by the politicians in the US and provoked indignation. The US politicians accused John Cena of censoring himself to appease Beijing.
Marco Rubio, the Republican senator, tweeted, “A world where #China’s Communist Party controls what Americans can say isn’t some nightmarish future threat. It’s already here,” linking to the apology video of the actor.
TWEET: <blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>A world where <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/China?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#China</a>’s Communist Party controls what Americans can say isn’t some nightmarish future threat <br><br>It’s already here <a href=”https://t.co/hmSsb0UaoL”>https://t.co/hmSsb0UaoL</a></p>— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) <a href=”https://twitter.com/marcorubio/status/1397214150749827084?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>May 25, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
The huge customer market of China, in the recent years, has been used as a weapon by Beijing for the critics.
Entities including the National Basketball Association (NBA) along with several fashion giants have, in the past, faced boycotts and battering on social media for speaking out on rights, abuses or even political issues as China deems them off-limits.