John Cena was slammed after he appeared to use the Ukraine crisis to promote his HBO show. The backlash began after the 44-year-old professional wrestler/actor took to his Twitter on Thursday (Feb. 24) to respond to the news of Russia invading Ukraine, which was quickly condemned by President Joe Biden and other world leaders. “If I could somehow summon the powers of a real life #Peacemaker, I think this would be a great time to do so,” John wrote, referencing the superhero series in which he plays the titular role.
The post quickly went viral, with social media followers calling out John’s tweet for being tone deaf. “Great time to hashtag your show for trending purposes. Very insensitive don’t you think?” one fan wrote. Another shared, “I’m just saying there is never an appropriate moment to say this, especially now.” Yet another posted, “I understand the sentiment but using this moment to plug the show is a bit… bleh.”
A separate Twitter user went so far as to suggest John use his platform to help the victims of the invasion. “I hope you didn’t mean to come off as disrespectful by using this to promote your show. You don’t have the powers of peacemaker but you do have the power of money and status. Please donate to help Ukraine or spread the link to donate.”
Great time to hashtag your show for trending purposes 🤣 very insensitive don't you think?
— Johnny (@Vivala_ketchup) February 24, 2022
I’m just saying there is never an appropriate moment to say this, especially now.
— Not that Asian dude 🙃 (@geesubay) February 24, 2022
I understand the sentiment but using this moment to plug the show is a bit… bleh.
— COUNTERZINE (@counterzine) February 24, 2022
And as John’s character of Peacemaker in the HBO program is an unlikely hero, often using questionable tactics to successfully complete his missions, one follower took him to task by tweeting, “I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain this to you but the power of peacemaker is murdering people.”
On Friday morning, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, revealed 137 civilians have been killed so far by Russian military personnel invading the country. In his speech, he called those who died “heroes” and said hundreds more have been wounded. “They’re killing people and turning peaceful cities into military targets. It’s foul and will never be forgiven,” Zelensky added.
Keep reading for more reactions to John’s tweet, below.
I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain this to you but the power of peacemaker is murdering people https://t.co/VAIrGJeMuk
— Sam Haft (@SamHaft) February 24, 2022
Why are you using a war to advertise a show? We are reaching new lows with this IP…
— Toxicgrigo will #ReleaseTheAyerCut (@residentgrigo) February 24, 2022
Tone deafness strong with this one.
— nda🔞 (@ndasfw) February 24, 2022
now is not the time to make this about your CW-tier show
— cinnamon bun (@notsofiacoppola) February 24, 2022
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I hope you didn't mean to come off as disrespectful by using this to promote your show . You don't have the powers of peacemaker but you do have the power of money and status. Please donate to help Ukraine or spread the link to donate.
— Natynat (@natynaty0620) February 24, 2022