There are times in a person’s life when a stand needs to be made, even when that stand has the potential to negatively impact that person’s income and/or “cancel” their reputation.
WWE star and Hollywood actor John Cena had such an opportunity to stand tall recently, and he failed in quite an embarrassing fashion.
Earlier this month, Cena told Taiwanese TV station TVBS that “Taiwan [would be] the first country that can watch” Fast and Furious 9, which he stars in alongside movie franchise star Vin Diesel. Cena plays Diesel’s wayward younger brother in the movie.
While there was nothing wrong with his statement for most people here in the states who may have watched or read the interview, Cena’s comments sparked outrage in China, where Taiwan is not viewed as an independent country.
In response to the backlash, Cena cut a video addressing the controversy and did an excellent job of nuking the reputation he had established for himself as being a tough fighter. The video looked like it was filmed under duress, with Cena – who spoke in Chinese – coming off as a hostage begging for mercy. The South China Morning Post provided the translation:
“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. Everyone was asking me if I could use Chinese – [movie] staff gave me a lot of information, so there was a lot of interviews and information,” said Cena, who started learning Mandarin to help his wrestling promotion’s integration in China. He has since gone viral many times for his enthusiastic Mandarin-speaking abilities.
“I made one mistake. I have to say something very, very, very important now. I love and respect China and Chinese people. I’m very, very sorry about my mistake. I apologise, I apologise, I’m very sorry. You must understand that I really love, really respect China and the Chinese people. My apologies. See you.”
It was maximum cringe. Watch:
John Cena has apologized to China for calling Taiwan a country, and it looks like a legit hostage video.
This pathetic garbage needs to end. We can’t let the dictatorship in Beijing set the rules Americans play by. At some point, enough is enough.pic.twitter.com/yHwzPu3QCQ
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) May 25, 2021
Cena’s pathetic “apology” managed to unite people of varying political persuasions and backgrounds against him, including two Republican Senators, a normally unhinged former MSNBC host, a “reporter” for the China-apologist network CNN, and others:
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
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) May 25, 2021
How shameful, Cena.
Taiwan is a country – and a democracy. You just apologized to a dictatorship. https://t.co/rBx50uQgF6
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) May 25, 2021
Hollywood won’t make movies in Georgia because of Voter ID laws, yet they’ll apologize to CHINA where people aren’t allowed to vote. We are living in the death of shame. https://t.co/ASojbMnvh3
— Jimmy Failla (@jimmyfailla) May 25, 2021
Why not call a decades-long healthy and functioning democracy a country? Because much of Hollywood operates in fear of Beijing, many of its blockbuster movies dependent on the mainland Chinese market. https://t.co/2mPcNAT6R3
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) May 25, 2021
Cena even earned a couple of well-deserved new nicknames, too:
Cowardly. LeBron Cena. https://t.co/iemdxIbB6t
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) May 25, 2021
— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) May 25, 2021
“The Hill” host Saagar Enjeti posed the question as to whether this was actually Cena wanting to do this or him being put up to it by Universal Pictures:
The real question is whether this is just John Cena being an uninformed moron OR was he instructed to issue this “apology” by F9 studio Universal Pictures (owned by Comcast) https://t.co/mEJR29ztA6
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) May 25, 2021
While it’d be good to know the answer to the question, the point remains that a stand should have been made here by Cena but wasn’t.
Moral of the story? Don’t bend that knee:
P.R. Tip: Don’t apologize to commies.
Whether it’s the Critical Race Theory crowd or the ChiComs. Don’t apologize!
— Melissa Mackenzie (@MelissaTweets) May 25, 2021