John Cena China Apology

John Cena's Apology To China

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Updated May 27, 2021 at 12:33PM EDT by Adam.

Added May 26, 2021 at 02:45PM EDT by Adam.

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Overview

John Cena's Apology To China refers to a controversy in which John Cena recorded a video expressing his remorse to his Chinese fans after referring to Taiwan as a "country" in a video promoting the release of Fast & Furious 9.

Background

While promoting Fast & Furious 9, John Cena, who acts in the film and is fluent in Mandarin, gave an interview in which he said Taiwan will be the first "country" to be able to see the film.[1] China officially views Taiwan as a province, though Taiwan has operated independently for decades, and China has historically taken offense to global organizations or pop stars referring to Taiwan as a country.[1] This led to backlash from Chinese social media users[2] and caused Cena to apologize in Mandarin for the slip-up. The video was posted to Weibo[3] before it spread on social media (YouTube embed with English subtitles shown below).



Developments

The apology received a mixed response from Weibo users, as Cena never explicitly referenced his mistake nor clarified his personal stance on Taiwan's sovereignty. Some Weibo comments include, "Stop beating around the bush! I won’t forgive you until you say explicitly that Taiwan is part of China," and "I’m not happy with this half-hearted attempt at redemption. Who knows where he really stands on Taiwan issues?" Others believed that Cena may have been reading from a script; another user commented, "I believe Cena was set up by someone who wanted to please Taiwanese people and get them to watch the movie. He didn’t mean to offend China" (translated from Chinese).[2]

On Western social media sites, the video was harshly criticized, as users interpreted the video as Cena cowering to China. CNN anchor Jake Tapper[4] called the video "just the latest example of US corporations acceding to the CCP's will" (shown below, left). User @AsYouNotWish[5] wrote, "John Cena endlessly apologises to China in the Chinese language after calling Taiwan, a country during a promotional interview. Grow a spine, John Cena. Taiwan is a country. The facts won’t change because the Chinese hate them," (shown below, right). CM Punk trolled Cena by making his Twitter bio, "Taiwan is a country."[6]


Jake Tapper @jaketapper The Cena apology for (accurately) referring to Taiwan as a country, presumably done so as to not hurt the release of Universal's "Fast & Furious 9" in China, is just the latest example of US corporations acceding to the CCP's will. More coming up on @TheLeadCNN Sonam Mahajan @AsYouNotWish John Cena endlessly apologises to China in the Chinese language after calling Taiwan, a country during a promotional interview. Grow a spine, John Cena. Taiwan is a country. The facts won't change because the Chinese hate them. 8:02 AM - May 25, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone

The controversy was also covered by multiple news organizations and commenters. Philip DeFranco posted a video about the controversy, gaining over 840,000 views in one day (shown below, left). Ben Shapiro also reacted to Cena's apology, calling it "pathetic" (shown below, right).



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