Fast & Furious star John Cena apologises for calling Taiwan a country

imageWorld19 minutes ago (May 26, 2021 01:31AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Cast member John Cena poses at the premiere for “Ferdinand” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

By Yew Lun Tian

BEIJING (Reuters) -U.S. wrestling superstar and actor John Cena apologised to Chinese fans on Tuesday after calling Taiwan a country during an interview to promote his latest movie “Fast & Furious 9”.

Speaking to Taiwanese television TVBS earlier this month, 44-year-old Cena said Taiwan would be the first “country” to see the latest Fast and Furious.

China regards Taiwan as its province, an assertion that most on the self-ruled, democratic island rejects.

“I made one mistake. I am very, very sorry for this mistake,” Cena said in Mandarin in a video posted on his account on Weibo (NASDAQ:WB), a Twitter-like microblog popular in China.

“I love and respect China and the Chinese people,” he added.

Cena joins a long list of international celebrities who have incurred the wrath of an increasingly nationalistic Chinese public over their comments about Taiwan, Hong Kong or Xinjiang.

Companies have also come under fire, with several airlines and hotels apologising to China in recent years for listing Taiwan as a country on their booking websites.

Cena’s apology was not enough for many mainland Chinese netizens.

“Please use Mandarin to say Taiwan is part of China. Otherwise we won’t accept the apology,” read a comment left on Cena’s apology video that received the most “likes”.

Neither did the apology go down well in the United States.

“Can someone please help John Cena locate his spine, please?” wrote Matt Karolian, manager of American news website, on Twitter.

Even former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo chimed in.

“On your bowing to the Chinese Communist Party… I don’t see you,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter.

Relations between the United States and China tanked under Pompeo, during the presidency of Republican Donald Trump.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment.

The movie has been a box office hit in mainland China since its open on May 21.

Over the last weekend, China accounted for $135 million of the movie’s $162 million in revenue, according to U.S. entertainment publication Variety.

Fast & Furious star John Cena apologises for calling Taiwan a country

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.