Actor John Cena walked back his remarks that Taiwan is a country, saying he is “very, very sorry” after facing mounting pressure to issue an apology to communist China.
In a video posted to a Chinese social media site this week, Cena said he made a “mistake” during the promotions for “Fast and Furious 9” by calling Taiwan a country in his segment on a Taiwanese news channel at the beginning of May.
“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,” Cena explained in Chinese.
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
In the video, Cena said he was feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information he was expected to communicate in Chinese to the Taiwanese people and apologized for offending China.
“I made one mistake,” Cena said.
The former professional wrestler concluded his apology video by professing his love for “China and the Chinese people.”
“I love and respect China and Chinese people,” Cena said. “I’m very, very sorry about my mistake. I apologize, I apologize, I’m very sorry. You must understand that I really love, really respect China and the Chinese people. My apologies.”
Chris Fenton, the producer for “Blockers,” a movie featuring Cena, publicly condemned the wrestler’s apology and questioned why Hollywood feels the need to grovel to the communist regime.
“#Speechless… And I love #JohnCena too! I produced his comedy #Blockers… How is #Hollywood, &, quite frankly #America, allowing this behavior? We must stop this! Now!” Fenton wrote on Twitter.
And I love #JohnCena too!
I produced his comedy #Blockers…
— Chris Fenton (@TheDragonFeeder) May 25, 2021
Taiwan is a free and democratic country that promotes religious, political, and academic freedom, but the communist regime in China, emboldened by its crackdown on pro-democracy dissidents in Hong Kong, believes it still has the authority to dictate the region as part of its territory. As tensions between the two countries begin to rise due to Taiwan’s democratization, China, led by Xi Jinping, continues to pressure other nations to conform to its perception of Taiwan.
Just this week, Chinese officials scolded President Joe Biden and the United States for a joint statement with South Korean President Moon Jae-in emphasizing the “importance of preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
“The joint statement mentioned issues related to Taiwan and the South China Sea. The Taiwan question is China’s internal affair. It bears on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and allows no interference by external forces. We urge relevant countries to speak and act prudentially on the Taiwan question and refrain from playing with fire,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.