The Fast & Furious movies make a ton of money across the globe, but their biggest market outside of the United States is China, where they are beloved.
While promoting Fast 9, which is already out in China, Cena said Taiwan would be the first "country" to be able to watch Fast & Furious 9 in an interview with Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS (in Chinese).
For those of you who did not know, there is an ongoing dispute between Taiwan and China. Taiwan wants to be an independent country, and China wants them recognized as part of their country. You can read the BBC's coverage on the issue to get up to speed.
Cena knows that Fast needs to do well internationally. As a movie star, he always wants his movies to make money, including in China. He knows the value of that market especially. In fact, when he was a wrestler, he went out of his way to learn their language for his world tours. When Chinese social media ripped into him, he knew he had to apologize.
It's a good video, and early reactions from Chinese social media seem to be forgiving of the star and of the snafu. While some were demanding Cena say China owns Taiwan, most understood his lack of knowledge of the situation and his wording problems.
This situation is indicative of Hollywood's bigger problem with China. The market is so big that you don't want to buck the system, but when China does things people find unsavory, there's a debate within Hollywood on how to handle it.
There seems to be no right answer, and money winds up being the most important factor.
Let us know what you think in the comments.