John Cena has made a name for himself-first as a WWE star and now as an actor-but now he is making headlines for yet another reason. John Cena is being blasted after posting a video to Chinese social media where it appeared that he was apologizing to China for referring to Taiwan as “a country.”
Cena posted his mea culpa to the Chinese social media network Sina Weibo and believe it or not, he even did his apology in Mandarin, no less.
Cena was promoting the latest release of “F9”, which is the 9th installment of the “Fast and Furious” movie franchise and he told the Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS that Taiwan would be the first country to see this installment.
Well, to make a long story short, the Chinese balked at John Cena’s statement. They said that he had no right to acknowledge Taiwan as a sovereign country outside of China. In a nutshell, the Chinese government claims Taiwan as a territory but Taiwan claims itself to be a sovereign nation that is self-governing as a republic. Moreover, this conflict also dates back to the 20th century Chinese civil war, and that conflict has never technically ended.
Taiwan’s independence has always been a bone of contention not just in China but on the world stage as well. Indeed, most countries haven’t even established diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Couple this with the fact that China is very aggressive at policing speech regarding Taiwan, and you have a very volatile situation. All things being equal, if you are dealing with China and you dare to classify Taiwan as a country, you are crossing a big red line in the sand.
What Exactly Did John Cena Say?
John Cena began by uploading a video to the Chinese version of Twitter, Sina Weibo. After the Chinese took issue with him classifying Taiwan as a country, Cena apologized profusely. However, the apology was not good enough for the Chinese people.
“Hello, China,” he said. “This is John Cena. I did all kinds of interviews for Fast and Furious 9. In one of these interviews it looks like I made a mistake.”
“I love and respect China,” he continued. “That is why I am sorry for my mistake for presuming that Taiwan is an independent nation. Sorry. Sorry. I’m very, very sorry. I hope you understand that I love the Chinese people.”
John Cena also apologized in Chinese on Sina Weibo after he called Taiwan a country and promoted Fast and Furious 9. However, there were some Chinese users who apparently flooded the account with calls for Cena to continue to apologize because his initial one was not sufficient. “We want you to say in Chinese that Taiwan is a part of China!” one person commented.
The movie debuted in China last Friday and it did have a solid initial response, so apparently Cena’s attempts at damage control did assist him in this regard. However, John Cena now has a brand-new issue to deal with, that of backlash from Americans! There was an avalanche of comments from several notable people.
First of all, Senator Tom Cotton (R-ARK) said that John Cena’s capitulation to China was “pathetic.” Ben Shapiro also chimed in, saying that “Taiwan is and should be considered a country. Hong Kong should be free. If you aren’t willing to say these things for fear of hurting your bottom line, then you are nothing more than a coward.” Noted journalist Tim Pool said that “John Cena supports genocide” which was a statement in reference to the Chinese execution of the Uyghur Muslims in China. Clay Travis chimed in, saying that there is too much of a “willingness of American celebrities and large companies to bend their knees to this Chinese dictatorship at the expense of everyone else, especially after the year that we have had what with China even lying about COVID-19 and unleashing it on the world…truly, we are on the wrong side of history. It’s pathetic.”
There were other critics as well.
“Boy,” writer Becket Adams said, “It looks like China has really got Hollywood by the balls. It’s getting to the point where the Chinese Communist Party is having U.S. actors issuing POW-type confessions.”
“Bought and sold,” another critic wrote.
“At least now I can honestly say which one of my body parts is stronger than John Cena’s: my spine.”
What do you think about this scathing rebuke of John Cena? Feel free to comment below!