A Hollywood star bows down before China
I am second to none in knowing almost nothing about John Cena. What I do know is that he is a Hollywood actor who has a role in the ninth installation of the Fast and Furious (FF) franchise, which is due to open next month. He also made the mistake, while on the publicity trail, of daring to call Taiwan what it is: a country. For that sin, Cena was required to post a video on a Chinese outlet humbly apologizing for his "mistake." Smart Americans, in addition to snarking at Cena now, will boycott the movie to make sure Hollywood understands that it can cater to a Chinese market or an American one, but not both.
The Fast and Furious movies are good money-makers for Universal Studios — and Breitbart notes that they make more money in China than they do in America:
The last F&F movie — Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, released in 2019 — derived more than 26 percent of its worldwide box office gross from China, compared to 22 percent from the U.S. The Fate of the Furious (2017) garnered 32 percent of its worldwide gross of more than $1 billion from China, versus just 18 percent from the U.S.
China recently surpassed the U.S. to become the largest movie market in the world — an accomplishment made possible in part by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the closure of U.S. cinemas for several months.
This means that Chairman Xi is more important to Hollywood than you are.
John Cena, a former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star, has been busy transitioning from the WWE to Hollywood. The FF franchise is a giant step in his career — and he almost blew it.
As part of the press junket for the movie, Cena did an interview with Taiwanese TVBS. And that's where the trouble began, as the Epoch Times relates (emphasis mine):
"Taiwan is the first country [in the world] that will screen Fast & Furious 9 (F9)," Cena said on May 8 when he was interviewed by Taiwanese TVBS.
On May 24, the Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times posted a screenshot of the interview on Weibo and asserted that self-ruled Taiwan is a province of China.
China is serious about this point, as its recent threats to Australia made clear.
One day later, Cena, speaking in Mandarin (which he learned to help promote the WWE), apologized to China for an unspecified "mistake":
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 Xu (@JoeXu) May 24, 2021
The Epoch Times offers a translation showing a deep grovel:
"I must say now that I did a lot of interviews for F9 … I'm very, very sorry for my mistake," Cena said. "I must say now, [it's] very, very, very, very, very important that I love and respect China and Chinese people."
Cena repeated the same sentence twice without mentioning Taiwan.
Again, I couldn't care less about Cena, so I also don't care that he abased himself to the Chinese. The reality is that, from a financial standpoint, Cena's apology saved Universal millions of dollars, given how important the Chinese market is to the studio. If he wants a career in Hollywood, he's going to have to dance to the Chinese piper's tune. (Although with a net worth of $60 million, you'd think Cena could have shown a little dignity.)
However, Universal still gets almost a quarter of its revenue from America. Therefore, it's long past time for Americans to tell Hollywood that it needs to figure out where its loyalties lie: with the Communist Chinese who enslave and commit genocide against the Uighurs, deny liberty to their own citizens, engage in imperialism around the globe, and deliberately created and spread a disease that's killed millions worldwide and severely weakened the world economy — or if their loyalty lies with America, the country that gives Hollywood tax breaks.
My advice is that you don't see the Fast & Furious movie, don't let your children see the movie, and strongly suggest to others that they skip the movie, too. Why in the world should we support a company that has chosen another country — a genocidal, anti-American country — over ours?
Image: John Cena grovels before Chairman Xi. Twitter screen grab.
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