John Cena Exemplifies Hollywood’s Nonstop Pandering to China

by sam
John Cena and Hollywood’s Nonstop Pandering to China: Op-Ed

Karley Cicale, FISM News


Hollywood seems to consistently be the megaphone of the radical left by using their popularity to bring attention to the most recent en vogue cause or promote outrage for those who have been “wronged.”

The latest example can be found with actor John Cena, who recently apologized for calling Taiwan a “country” in an interview with Taiwanese network TVBS. In a conversation to promote the 9th “Fast and Furious” movie, he stated that ”Taiwan is the first country that can watch.”

China current trajectory would soon make it the largest cinema market in the world, having grown exponentially up until the hit of the coronavirus pandemic. In light of this, it’s no wonder that Hollywood is very carefully auditing and amending any comment that might put this cash cow at risk. 

Cena apologized to the Chinese people saying, “Hi China, I’m John Cena. I’m in the middle of Fast and Furious 9 promotions. I’m doing a lot of interviews. I made a mistake in one of my interviews…I made one mistake. I have to say something very, very, very important now. I love and respect China and Chinese people.” Cena continued, “I’m very, very sorry about my mistake. I apologize, I apologize, I’m very sorry. You must understand that I really love, really respect China and the Chinese people. My apologies. See you.”

Since 1949, tensions have been present between the island of Taiwan and mainland China after the nationalist group Kai-shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) fled to Taiwan from China after being defeated by Mao Zedong’s communists. Still, over seventy years later, Taiwan is viewed by China as a rogue province that will one day be brought back into the sphere of the mainland country. 

Officially, the United States does not acknowledge Taiwan as an independent country, but does maintain a strong relationship in order to promote stability in the region. Any official backing of Taiwanese independence, especially from a world power like the U.S., would not be interpreted favorably by the communist regime.

Cena’s apology is symptomatic of the widespread pandering to China among large corporations, sports teams, and the film industry, as the country’s 1.4 billion population is not a market these industries are willing to jeopardize. 

A report released from PEN American in 2020 details the many times that Hollywood has censored their movies to remove the potential for any controversy surrounding Chinese political and cultural positions. This includes an avoidance of any mention of Taiwan, the occupation of Tibet, and human rights abuses. 

One of the more innocuous examples was the removal of the Taiwanese flag from the jacket of Tom Cruise’s character in the movie Top Gun: Maverick. In the original 1986 movie, Cruise’s jacket had the Japanese and Taiwanese flags on the back. 

Other controversies surrounded the release of the movie Mulan, which Disney credited (and thanked the Chinese government) for being filmed in the Xinjiang region of China — a region purported for many human rights violations of Turkic Muslims.

In addition, the remake of Red Dawn, a story of the air invasion and takeover of the United states by a foreign power was originally written to feature China, but was then changed to North Korea in order to be more palatable to the Chinese market.  

At first glance, all of these changes objectively could seem unworthy of note; yet should China continue their market dominance, it is more than likely the industry will continue to bend to China’s wishes. Considering the prominent hostility toward many religious, human, and free speech rights of the Chinese government, it is likely that many opportunities for artistry, creativity, and social commentary will be forfeited by Hollywood in order to appeal to the immense Chinese audience.