The South China Morning Post reports that Cena made the comment during a recent appearance on Taiwanese broadcast network TVBS during his promotional tour for the film. During the show, Cena reportedly said Taiwan was “the first country to watch the movie.”
Cena’s comments were controversial in China, as the island of Taiwan has been ruled independently from mainland China since 1949. The Chinese government views Taiwan as a “renegade province” that it has vowed to unite again with the Chinese. People’s Republic of Mainland China. Currently Taiwan has its own democratically elected government. However, China does not view Taiwan as an independent and sovereign country.
In the video, Cena speaks in Mandarin and repeatedly apologizes for his “mistake.” Here’s an English translation of Cena’s comments in the video, courtesy of the South China Morning Post:
“Hi China, I’m John Cena. I’m in the middle of the Fast and Furious 9 promotions. I do a lot of interviews. I made a mistake in one of my interviews. Everyone was asking me if I could use Chinese – [movie] the staff gave me a lot of information so there was a lot of interviews and information. I made a mistake. I have to say something very, very, very important now. I love and respect China and the Chinese. I am very sorry for my mistake. I apologize, I apologize, I am so sorry. You have to understand that I really love, I really respect China and the Chinese people. My excuses. See you soon. “
As noted, China is a major market for the Fast and furious franchise. After its opening in the country on May 21, F9, along with Cena, has already grossed $ 137 million there, per Box Office Mojo.
Cena’s video on Weibo is said to have garnered more than 5,000 comments, with some accepting his apologies and others saying Cena should say Taiwan is part of China. Now that the video is shared on Twitter, it’s still a major trending topic this morning, and Cena is getting a lot of backlash for his contrition comments.
F9: The quick saga, directed by Taiwanese-American filmmaker Justin Lin, will be released in US theaters on June 25.
John Cena apologizes in Chinese on Sina Weibo after calling Taiwan a country in interview promoting Fast & Furious 9 pic.twitter.com/dzRKIYgEzL
– Joe Xu (@JoeXu) May 24, 2021