John Cena has apologised to his legions of Chinese fans after the sixteen-time champion of the world referred to Taiwan as a country during his media rounds for his new movie, Fast & Furious 9.
Cena made the comment while he was being interviewed by TVBS, a television broadcast company from Taiwan. Following the outrage from many Chinese fans on social media, Cena himself posted a video on the Chinese Sina Weibo platform to apologise and clear up what happened.
John Cena stated in Mandarin:
“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. Everyone was asking me if I could use Chinese – [movie] staff gave me a lot of information, so there was a lot of interviews and information.”
“I made one mistake, I have to say something very, very, very important now. I love and respect China and Chinese people. I’m very, very sorry about my mistake. I apologise, I apologise, I’m very sorry. You must understand that I really love, really respect China and the Chinese people. My apologies. See you.”
During his interview with TVBS Cena had said that Taiwan would be ‘the first country to watch the film,’ before making his unabashed apology.
According to the South China Morning Post that carried the story many users of Weibo sent messages to Cena asking him to say that Taiwan is part of China.
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 Yizhou Xu (@JoeXu) May 24, 2021
The relationship between China and Taiwan is a tricky one. The People’s Republic of China lays claim to the island nation officially known as the Republic of China. Officially the People’s Republic of China refuses diplomatic relations with countries and organisations that recognise Taiwan as its own nation state. Taiwan is also either not granted or granted with a change of name to be involved with organisations that include the People’s Republic Of China. It is for this reason that Taiwan competes at the Olympic Games under the name ‘Chinese Taipei.’