Wrestler-turned-actor John Cena came under fire again on Thursday after he apparently used Russia’s Ukrainian invasion to promote his HBO Max show.
Just hours after Russia invaded Ukraine following a months-long troop build-up on the Russian-Ukrainian border, Sina tweeted: “If I could somehow call on the forces of a real #Peacekeeper, I think now is the right time to this. “, referring to the protagonist of his HBO Max show.
The character, which he debuted in James Gunn’s 2021 film Suicide Squad, is known for his brashness and jingoism, but seeks peace at all costs, even if it means using extreme violence.
Cena’s tweet was widely perceived as being tone-deaf after Russian troops bombed major cities, including the capital Kiev, on the orders of President Vladimir Putin, killing dozens of people.
“Real people are dying right now and you are using their deaths to promote a fucking TV show? Really?’ wrote one Twitter user Laurie Smith.
John Cena, pictured in January 2020, was criticized on Thursday for using Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to promote his HBO Max show.
He tweeted that if he had his character’s powers in The Peacemaker, “I think now is the time to do it.”
Cena was soon criticized online for his insensitive comment, with Korean-Canadian illustrator Ji Sub-jeong and voice actor Sam Haft calling him out.
Ji Sub-jung, a Korean-Canadian illustrator, responded to a tweet on Thursday afternoon by saying, “I’m just saying there’s never a good time to say it, especially now,” while Sam Haft, voice actor, commented, “I feel I don’t have to explain this to you, but the Peacekeeper’s power is killing people.”
One user, Regular Harry, said, “(I) can’t believe you tweeted this,” while Smith wrote, “You should have had enough common sense to know that tweet was rude, stupid, and tasteless “.
Meanwhile, Dennis Owens chided the former wrestling star, tweeting, “You showed the depth of your character.
“Go back to rubbing baby oil on your chest and jumping around in your underwear.”
Sina has yet to comment on the backlash.
The tweet comes just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized an invasion of Ukraine that followed months of a troop buildup on the border.
Russian troops bombed major cities, including the capital Kiev, killing dozens of people.
Cena’s character, the Peacemaker, is known for using violence to achieve peace.
But he had previously come under fire when he bowed to the interests of the Chinese Communist Party and apologized for calling Taiwan a country.
Many democracies around the world consider Taiwan an independent country with their own government, but the United States has always led a delicate dance, supporting it with advisers and the military, without openly speaking out against Beijing, which considers Taiwan a territory.
But in May, Cena found himself at the center of controversy as he promoted his role in the ninth installment of the Fast & Furious franchise on a Taiwanese network.
He said in Mandarin Chinese, which he learned at the time to advance his wrestling career internationally, “Taiwan is the first country that can watch F9.”
After seeing his video, Chinese fans and government officials expressed their outrage that Sina, who received millions for showing his films in China, did not consider Taiwan a territory.
They criticized him on Weibo, often referred to as China’s Twitter, and threatened to boycott the film franchise in response to his comments.
“Fast and the Furious” can say goodbye! WWE star John Cena (Sina Zhao) said that Taiwan is the first “country” where “F9” can be seen. He studied Chinese for so many years and said he loves China very much. This mistake really should not be, ”said one of them.
Cena, feeling the heat of criticism from Chinese fans, later recorded an apology video in which he stated that he had made a mistake.
John Cena released a video on Weibo in May apologizing to his Chinese fans after calling Taiwan a “country” in an interview.
He humbled himself: “Hi China, I’m John Cena.
“I’m in the middle of Fast and Furious 9 promotion. I give a lot of interviews. I made a mistake in one of the interviews.
“Everyone asked me if I could speak Chinese… [movie] the staff gave me a lot of information, so there were 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 the Chinese people. I am very, very sorry for my mistake.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
“You must understand that I love China and respect China and the Chinese people very much. My apologies. See you.’
The video has been played 2.4 million times on the highly controlled social network, with Chinese media seizing on the apology.