Social media users are ripping into F9 star John Cena for apologising to China and Chinese people after he called Taiwan a country.
The problem originated from the wrestler’s interview with TVBS, a Taiwanese broadcaster, where he said, “Taiwan is the first country to watch Fast and Furious 9.”
Here lies the issue: the People’s Republic of China (PRC) claims the Taiwan island as its territory, regarding its breakaway as illegitimate. This, despite the region having its own government, democratic elections and army. It has been a point of geopolitical contention, with many countries siding with China on the issue.
Thus, on Monday, 24 May 2021, the wrestler-turned-actor posted a Mandarin video message on Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform. In the video, John Cena did not specifically mention that he was apologising for calling Taiwan a country.
Instead, he said that he had done many interviews for Fast & Furious 9, and during one of them, he made a mistake.
“I must say right now, it’s very, very, very, very, very, very important. I love and respect China and Chinese people. I’m very, very sorry for my mistake,” Cena said as quoted by NBC News.
Below is the John Cena apology video reposted on Twitter:
John Cena apologized in Chinese on Sina Weibo after calling Taiwan a country during an interview promoting Fast & Furious 9 pic.twitter.com/dzRKIYgEzL
— Joe Yizhou Xu (@JoeXu) May 24, 2021
It was not much of a challenge for social media users to put two and two together to understand what the superstar was talking about. They immediately began flaying the actor.
YouTube creator Adam22 said, “John Cena is a b**ch.” American conservative columnist, author, and television personality, Meghan McCain also pulled no punches when she called him an ‘absolutely spineless, chickenshit, pathetic coward.’
Here are some other tweets below:
A world where #China’s Communist Party controls what Americans can say isn’t some nightmarish future threat
It’s already here https://t.co/hmSsb0UaoL
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 25, 2021
It is a dicey situation for the Fast and Furious makers, Universal, because the Chinese film market is the second-largest, behind only the US. They will not want the film banned in China because of Cena’s ‘mistake’, but they also risk losing the home audience in the US, which makes up most of the actor’s apology critics.
In its opening weekend, Fast and Furious 9 has made $136 million in China alone. A ban would be bad for them right now. But people at home are not happy with what they see as American stars bowing down ‘to a country that has literal concentration camps,’ per Editor-in-Chief of Breitbart News, Alex Marlow.
You may also like to read our recent article Highest-grossing Fast and Furious films till date | Fast & Furious films ranked.