Tom Cruise doesn’t seem to be a Russian-made fighter jet in the remake of his 1986 classic “Top Gun”: he’s also angering China.
The sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick,” features Cruz in a bomber jacket with a Taiwanese flag, considered a symbol of independence by Beijing authorities, who see the island as part of its territory. President Xi Jinping’s government has insisted that Taiwan is already a truly independent country that needs widespread international recognition.
The flag was either missing or did not appear properly in the film’s trailer in 2019, prompting some to wonder if it had been moved to meet the demands of Chinese censors. But when the whole movie hit theaters recently, keen observers noted that the flags made a comeback. Similarly, the Japanese flag was restored.
During an advanced screening in Taiwan, viewers were thrilled to see the Taiwanese flag on a cruise jacket and applauded several times throughout the film, according to a report by local online media outlet SETN.
The film is not expected to be released in China. Some movie-centered Chinese social-media accounts have commented on the film, focusing on the film’s box office success. Maverick tops the Memorial Day weekend chart in North America, with an estimated $ 124 million in ticket sales.
Hollywood has a long tradition of bowing to pressure from Chinese censors, removing images and dialogue from scenes that could be considered offensive to President Xi Jinping’s increasingly conservative society.
But the decision to put a picture of the flag on the back of the jacket worn by Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell suggests that at least some Hollywood officials could launch a new page on Chinese censorship.
“Hollywood is pushing back now,” wrote Chris Fenton, a former movie executive who wrote “Feeding the Dragon: Inside the Trillion Dollar Dilemma Facing Hollywood, NBA and American Business.” “The market is no longer buoyant in trying to please the Chinese sensors.”
Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Limited has withdrawn শন 170 million from Paramount Pictures Productions. The company’s involvement with a film celebrating the US military could upset Beijing, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier, citing people familiar with the matter. Tencent did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Authorities in Beijing are particularly sensitive to anything that could imply that Taiwan is an independent country. In 2018, companies including Air France-KLM and Deutsche Lufthansa AG were among the more than 40 airlines that changed their websites to change references to Taiwan.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)