There’s an old George Carlin bit — I guess they’re all old now (sigh) — about The Big Club. Still rings true today, even though it’s some 25 years old now or more. And while that “Big Club” may not be owned by China, it’s certainly still a slave to the money that China can provide them. Which is just another form of ownership. The promise of money can be just as much of an influence as actual money.
John Cena is just the latest example of that, much like Adam Silver and Daryl Morey were not so long ago. Cena had to apologize to all of China today, as during his promotional tour for “F9” he said that Taiwan is a country. The Chinese don’t like that, as they still view Taiwan as theirs.
Except, it is a country. The Taiwanese sure think so, and keep electing a president who would like to make them totally independent one day and free of the “one country, two systems” method that seems to always end in more Chinese control. Ask Hong Kong about that.
But see, Taiwan isn’t going to be responsible for millions upon millions of dollars in movie tickets and such that the Chinese people will. It already has, as Variety reported it took in $137 million in its opening weekend there. That’s certainly antihistamine money to movie studios (not to be sneezed at). So the feelings of the Chinese people and government matter just a little more to Cena’s bosses, part of that “Big Club,” than what the Taiwanese people think and what actually might be the truth and what their lives might be like in the future. Truth only goes so far as the next check in this world.
It’s really no different than Daryl Morey’s comments on Hong Kong landing the NBA and Adam Silver between a rock and a financial overlord. It didn’t matter that support for Hong Kong was totally right and Morey can and should feel that way, given what they were fighting for and against. But see, Hong Kong itself doesn’t shower the NBA with millions, and the possibility of millions more. China does. So Silver had to make nice because his bosses, all the NBA owners, want that money. There isn’t much China could do that would keep billionaires like those owners or studio execs from slobbering at the thought of that market. So anyone in the way of that will find themselves trying to placate the Chinese and apologizing within a day or two.
It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it. But you’ll still play by their rules.