Fast 9 actor and 17-time WWE professional wrestling champion John Cena has taken to Chinese social media platform Weibo to apologize after referring to Taiwan as a country during a recent interview.
“I made a mistake, I must say right now. It’s so so so so so so important, I love and respect Chinese people,” Cena said to his 600,000 fans on his Chinese Weibo account. “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.”
This comes after the WWE superstar during an interview on a Taiwanese broadcast channel TVBS in a bid to promote the latest F9 movie from the fast and furious franchise.
“Taiwan is the first country that can watch F9,” Cena told the broadcaster in Mandarin. Take a look at the apology below.
Per popular request, here's Mr. John Cena's apology video with English subtitles. I kept all the incoherence in the video, as well as the curious absence of what he's actually apologizing for pic.twitter.com/WmJlRcyOID
— Tony Lin 林東尼 (@tony_zy) May 25, 2021
The video has generated over 10,000 comments since it was posted, a lot of people have shown their support for Cena, considering it a fair mistake, others insist that he goes the extra mile by directly saying Taiwan is part of China. An example is a comment posted by Tai Wa Dai Shi that has generated 7,300 likes and over 1,000 follow-up comments and counting. “Please say ‘Taiwan is a part of China’ in Mandarin,” said Tai Wa Dai Shi, “otherwise we won’t accept it.”
The region known as Taiwan has been a self-governed democratic island since the end of the Chinese Civil War over 70 years ago, but it’s still considered by Beijing as a territory claimed by the People’s Republic of China. Any suggestion of Taiwan’s independence is considered a major offense by China.
Fast 9 has so far debuted in eight markets and made $162.4 million out of which $135.6m (£96m) comes from the Chinese market alone. The movie is set to debut in the US on June 25.
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