It happened again. Another big-name Hollywood elite coddled up to the People’s Republic of China.
John Cena, a wrestling legend and A-list movie star, recently issued an apology on his press tour for the “Fast & Furious 9” after “accidentally” referring to Taiwan as a country. The incident sparked strong pushback on the Chinese mainland, where questioning the country’s “One-China” policy almost always results in an instant wave of condemnation.
Taiwan is an independent country with an independent government. It’s been that way for 49 years. But for its own predatory purposes, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claims the country is still under its control and puts immense military and financial pressure on other countries and influencers to accept this premise.
Cena, of course, appears to be counting on China to spend millions of dollars on tickets on the latest “Fast & Furious” flick, which has already grossed $135 million and counting in the country, so he issued a “heartfelt” apology to calm the storm. However, his apology has set off its own wave of criticism in the United States. And rightfully so.
This pushback to Hollywood’s never-ending China appeasement is long overdue. After this year of horrific human rights abuses emanating from the People’s Republic, their virtue signaling to the communist regime has simply become too much to stomach.
The world recently watched in horror as the Chinese regime cracked down on individual freedom in Hong Kong and continued ethnic cleansing in their northern region of Xinjiang. Yet, many of the “woke” activists in Hollywood, who are more than happy to condemn America, have stayed largely silent, avoiding any utterance that may anger this important business market.
While this is Cena’s first offense, many high-profile influencers have taken the same appeasement approach, putting profits above principles and patriotism.
Take billionaire and recent “Saturday Night Live” host Elon Musk.
Musk has a massive business stake in China with Tesla and has taken to praising the Chinese regime in recent months as the pushback against his subsidized corporations has intensified.
Even as the world became fully aware of China’s wrongdoings, Musk publicly praised the nation as moving ahead of the United States and seemed to quickly buckle to the country’s regulatory concerns toward his vehicles.
Compare that to his actions in America. Musk has hurled insults at regulators who dared investigate his car company’s autopilot feature that may have contributed to fatal road accidents, as well as his space company, which recently launched an exploding rocket despite being denied a safety waiver.
The U.S. government has funneled a lot of money into Musk’s pockets, so you’d think he would respect what U.S. regulators ask of him. But just like the rest of the liberal elite, he instead decided to blast the United States while kowtowing to China’s every word and request.
Disney, which has bent over backward to appease the CCP as it looks to expand its footprint in China, has similarly appeared to tolerate CCP abuses to pursue greater profits.
The movie “Mulan” caught flack last year after the company thanked the oppressive Xinjiang police bureau for its support in making the film. The company issued this praise even though the United States blacklisted the bureau for its role in the alleged ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the country. This praise of China from Disney came just months after the company fired conservative actress Gina Carano over a social media post criticizing COVID-restrictions that some deemed offensive—because that’s obviously a far worse sin than mass genocide.
It’s frankly astounding that these celebrities and companies feel comfortable selling out to communist China so quickly. Liberals love telling people in this country what’s “wrong” with America, but their blatant hypocrisy exposes the fact that their moral outrage only happens when profits aren’t under threat.
Here’s the truth: Real moral integrity doesn’t have a profit exception.
Standing up for what’s right regardless of the financial cost is the type of thing everyone in this country used to celebrate. But it seems that many on the left have been blinded by either greed or the leftist politics of the People’s Regime.
Let this be a final warning to Hollywood: Either stop the China double standard or expect much of America to tune you out completely.
Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer is a retired senior intelligence operations officer and president of the London Center for Policy Research.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.