“You absolutely spineless, chickenshit, pathetic coward,” Meghan McCain tweeted on Tuesday afternoon (May 25), blasting John Cena with the anger she usually reserves for her co-hosts on The View. Meghan, 36, was furious at John, 44, for apologizing after he referred to Taiwan as an independent country and not as part of China while promoting his new film, F9. Meghan was one of the many political commentators who trashed John for seemingly turning his back on the Taiwanese people out of fear of upsetting the Chinese movie-viewing public.
You absolutely spineless, chickenshit, pathetic coward. https://t.co/AYL5NdWBFw
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) May 25, 2021
“Taiwan is a country. Hong Kong should be free. If you are unwilling to say these things because it might hurt your bottom line, you are a pathetic coward,” tweeted Ben Shapiro, the conservative commentator best known for getting in a tizzy over Harry Styles a dress and for losing it at the thought of Cardi B having fun during sex. “Pathetic,” tweeted U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, a man who opposed establishing an independent commission over the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection but, in his New York Times op-ed, supported siccing the national guard on people protesting police brutality.
“How shameful, Cena,” tweeted Keith Olbermann, showing this outrage wasn’t reserved for one side of the political aisle. “Taiwan is a country – and a democracy. You just apologized to a dictatorship.” “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,” tweeted CNN anchor Jim Sciutto, pointing out what was likely the real reason behind John’s apology.
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
China considers Taiwan, a self-ruled democratic island, to be a “breakaway providence” and, ultimately, a part of China, per The New York Times. Referring to it as a separate entity is considered an offense in China due to its great sense of nationalism. So, when John, while speaking to Taiwanese Broadcaster TVBS, said that “Taiwan is the first country that I can watch” the new movie, F9, he threatened to upset the Chinese movie-viewing audience. So, he issued a response.
“I made a mistake,” said John in Mandarin, a language he has been studying for years, on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. “Now I have to say one thing which is very, very, very important: I love and respect China and Chinese people. I’m very sorry for my mistakes. Sorry. Sorry. I’m really sorry. You have to understand that I love and respect China and Chinese people.” John’s apology wasn’t universally accepted, with many Weibo users demanding he says that Taiwan is part of China.
As Jim Sciutto pointed out, John’s mea culpa was likely due to how China is a major market for movies. The ninth Fast & The Furious film earned $162 million internationally over the previous weekend, with $135 million from China alone, per Business Insider. It’s the first Hollywood movie since Avengers: Endgame to crack $100 million in its opening weekend. The last two films in the franchise – Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious – both grossed more than $1 billion globally, with nearly $390 million of that in China. One can see why John did his best to quell any Chinese anger regarding his comment. Unfortunately, that apology left some people — like Meghan — seeing red.
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