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CBS NEWS / MAY 25, 2021 / 5:30 P.M.
John Cena has apologised for referring to Taiwan as a country while promoting the next instalment of the “Fast & Furious” franchise, “F9.” On the famous Chinese social media platform Weibo, the actor and professional wrestler apologised in Mandarin on Tuesday.
According to BBC News, Cena said, “I made one mistake, I must say right now, extremely important, I love and appreciate Chinese people.” “Please accept my sincere apologies for my blunder. Please accept my sincere apologies.”
Cena made his first remark during an interview with Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS. Taiwan will be the first “nation” to witness the ninth instalment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, according to the 44-year-old.
His remark provoked fury on Chinese social media sites, as the status of Taiwan remains a contentious issue. According to BBC News, Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and disputes the idea that it is an independent state.
According to BBC News, China and Taiwan have been governed separately since 1949, but Beijing has attempted to limit Taiwan’s international influence and has not ruled out using force to regain the island.
Cena, who has over 600,000 Weibo followers, has spent years studying Mandarin. Despite his best attempts, he admitted in 2017 that he still spoke the language like a “third grader.”
According to BBC News, some Weibo users believed Cena’s apology wasn’t enough, while others were more empathetic. Meanwhile, Cena’s apology was panned by some American senators. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a Republican, termed it “sad.”
According to Variety, “F9” released this weekend in foreign theatres after being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, grossing over $162 million at the box office. The movie is expected to be one of the year’s biggest box office hits.