“Love means you never have to say you’re sorry,” or so Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal told us in the 1970 motion picture “Love Story.” But over a half-century later, the love of money has Hollywood falling all over itself to apologize to communist China.
“Fast and Furious” is not only an exhaustive action film franchise — if you’re keeping count, the new release is No. 9 — but it also describes how quickly bodybuilder/wrestler/movie star John Cena scrambled to get back into the good graces of the millionaire Marxists in Beijing.
After encouraging the good moviegoers of Taiwan, saying that the island nation of Chinese nationalists would be the first country to see the new feature, the communist mainland started breathing fire in dragon-like fashion, and Cena promptly surrendered to the worldview of the jarringly misnamed “People’s Republic.”
Putting the “dip” in diplomacy, Cena sought to blame his busy promotional schedule for his unintentional deviation from Chicom dogma, with its insistence that Taiwan is really part of China, and the ominous rumblings that a “reunification” through military action could become reality.
“I’m doing a lot of interviews. I made a mistake in one of my interviews. … I love and respect China and Chinese people. I’m very, very sorry about my mistake. I apologize. I’m very sorry. You must understand that I really love, really respect China and the Chinese people. My apologies.”
To reinforce his “love and respect,” Cena offered his apology in Mandarin, a language he initially learned for WWE tours in China. He is now considered fluent in Mandarin, since he moved to China for five months in 2018, shooting a movie there with Jackie Chan.
The Cena-Chan casting combination isn’t much of a surprise in the movie biz, but the bipartisan tag teams that emerged to take apart Cena’s Mandarin mea culpa in the Twitter-sphere was eye-opening. Leftist commentator and sportscaster Keith Olbermann called it “shameful”; conservative Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, described it as “pathetic.”
Two other broadcasters from opposite ends of the political spectrum offered another rare left-right combination. CNN’s Jim Sciutto put forth this rhetorical question-and-answer flurry: “Why not call a decades-long healthy and functioning democracy a country? Because much of Hollywood operates in fear of Beijing, many of its blockbuster movies are dependent on the mainline Chinese market.” Talk radio host Ben Shapiro taunted Cena with a cross between “Monday Nitro” and “Firing Line”: “Taiwan is a country. Hong Kong should be free. If you are unwilling to say these things because it might hurt your bottom line, you are a pathetic coward.”
Cowardice, calculation or both, Cena is scarcely alone when it comes to kowtowing to the communist Chinese. NBA players and coaches, so “woke” when it comes to America’s alleged social ills, stay silent on the subject of slave labor in China.
The World Health Organization, tasked by the United Nations to deal with major health problems such as global pandemics, lavished praise on the Chinese government for its initial response to COVID-19, despite reports that security forces locked infected Wuhan residents in their apartments, denying them food and medical treatment while nature took its course.
What course will the world follow in the years ahead?
Puff Daddy rapped of gritty economic reality in his 1997 hit “It’s All About the Benjamins,” but given the inclinations of the entertainment industry, the indulgent attitude of the Biden administration and the Chinese aspirations for military and economic ascendancy, he would do well to concoct a new composition.
Perhaps “It’s All a Yin for the Yuan” will reflect the rhythms of a new reality, but don’t expect anyone in China to say “Sorry!”
And no one will confuse it with “Love Story.”
J.D. Hayworth worked as a sportscaster at Channel 10 Phoenix from 1987 until 1994 and represented Arizona in Congress from 1995-2007.