Tom Cruise Puts His Money Where His Mouth is by standing up to the Chinese Communist Party by Supporting Taiwan
Can the movie star's bravery inspire other American institutions to start valuing people over profits as well?
Six months before Covid-19 escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Tom Cruise released the trailer for Top Gun: Maverick1. Careful observers noted that a patch depicting the Taiwanese flag on Maverick’s jacket had been replaced. It turns out that Paramount, flush with cash from Chinese financiers, used CGI to replace Maverick’s 63-4 cruise patch to appease the Chinese Communist Party. Apparently, Tom Cruise was not consulted, and by the time the movie was released the Republic of China aka Taiwanese flag was back and the Chinese financiers had been sent packing.2 Tom Cruised risked his film being locked out of China’s $7 billion box office to take a stand for freedom and for the people of Taiwan. According to the Central News Agency of Taiwan audiences across the country are cheering and clapping when their national flag appears on the screen.3 Cruise has proven that he puts people over profits by taking his stand against the genocidal regime in Beijing.
By the way, the movie is great. If you loved Top Gun you’ll enjoy Top Gun: Maverick. Deadline is reporting:
“SUNDAY AM UPDATE: Paramount is now calling the 4-day weekend for Top Gun: Maverick at $151M after a $38M Saturday, which is technically up 16% from Friday’s $32.7M ($52M less $19.3M Thursday previews). That uptick means a ton in today’s market given how older skewing this movie is. Disney asserts it continues to own the Memorial Day weekend record with 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End with $153M; read previous update for all the agita. Still with Top Gun 2, that’s the best Memorial Day weekend we’ve seen in quite some time.”4
Sadly, Tom Cruise is a lonely voice of support for Taiwan. Here are just a few of the companies that have bowed to pressure from the Chinese Communist Party:
Activision Blizzard: banned player for supporting Hong Kong democracy protest. Confiscated all his winnings. Fired the 2 casters who interviewed him.
Apple: censors Taiwan flag emoji in iOS in China, Hong Kong, & Macau
Apple: censored Hong Kong protest map from App Store.
Vans: censors pro-HK democracy design in its shoe design competition
NBA: rebuked Rockets manager for his "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong" tweet, saying NBA was "extremely disappointed with Morey's inappropriate comment."
Disney/ESPN: forbids any mention of Chinese politics when discussing Rockets manager's tweet supporting HK freedom. ESPN talking heads castigated Morey for sending the tweet & speculated about his sincerity, but they absolutely will not talk about what caused the tweet: China's encroachment on HK and the resultant HK protest
Disney / Marvel: censored Tibetan monk from "Doctor Strange" and turned him into a white woman. Per the movie's screenwriter: "if you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he’s Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people who think that that’s bullshit". Now you can't even acknowledge that Tibet is a place lest our Chinese overlord be displeased.
ASICS, Calvin Klein, Coach, Fresh, Givenchy, Pocari Sweat, Valentino, Versace, and Swarovski all apologized to China for their support of Hong Kong.5
Marriott: apologized to China & changed "Taiwan" to "Taiwan, China" in its hotel listings after China threw a hissy fit.6
Nike: removed all Houston Rockets-related products from their China website after the Rockets manager tweeted "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong"7
Activision Blizzard: cut livestream when American University team held up "Free Hong Kong, boycott Blizzard" in solidarity with the banned HK player.
Apple: handed over iCloud data and encryption keys to China8
Cathay Pacific: fired a large number of employees for supporting HK democracy protests. Its flight attendants union head was fired for posting on Facebook in support of the protests.9
Apple: minimized the seriousness of iOS exploits that enabled China to track Uyghurs, when over a million of them are already rounded up by China in concentration camps.10
Gap: apologized to China for selling T-shirts IN CANADA that didn't include Taiwan & South China Sea islands as part of China
Tiffany: removed tweet showing a model covering one eye after Chinese consumers accused it of supporting Hong Kong protesters & "defaming" China
Marriott: fired an employee who liked a tweet from a Tibetan group
Mercedes: apologized for "hurting the feelings" of the people of China for quoting Dalai Lama on Instagram
American Airlines, Delta, and United: deleted any mention of Taiwan as a country from their websites after China gave them the order
Audi: apologized for using an "incorrect geographical map" of China that left off Taiwan
Muji: destroyed store catalogs that contain an "incorrect" map of China
Zara: apologized for listing Taiwan as a country on its website
Medtronic: apologized for publishing "illegal content" that listed the "Republic of China (Taiwan)" as a country on its website
Ray-Ban: changed its website description of "Taiwan" & "Hongkong" to "China Taiwan" & "China Hongkong"
Qantas, Air France, Air Canada, British Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Japan Airlines, and ANA: changed "Taiwan" to "Taiwan China" on their websites after China gave them the order
TikTok: censored videos that mention Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence, or the banned religious group Falun Gong
Disney: shrank or removed non-white characters from the Chinese poster of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
Philadelphia Sixers: ejected fans from the game for supporting Hong Kong democracy
Princeton: doesn't talk about the 3 Ts: Tibet, Tiananmen, Taiwan - UPDATE - upon discussion with several users I reached the conclusion that direct criticism of Princeton university is not in order. What is in order is to be on the lookout for academic institutes that censor the mentions of these 3T's - academic censorship is inadmissible! - and also Confucius institutes which, being Chinese, are also main sources of censorship.
Leica: released ad on Tiananmen protest. Apologized & distanced itself from the ad
Reddit: took $150M from Tencent. Removed threads like this
Rockhampton, Queensland: censored Taiwan flag in a student art project
Lâncome - a face-cream company owned by L'Oréal - canceled a promotional concert in Hong Kong with artist Denise Ho when they found out she was pro-democracy back in 2014. This led to protests from HKers namely in NY Times Square with yellow umbrellas, the movement's symbol. Lâncome consequently shut down stores in HK.
Red Candle Games removed "Devotion", a game with Taiwanese culture and superstitions and a mocking of Xi Jinping as Winnie the Pooh hidden in-game, from Steam after the meme was found about a week after launch. The company also apologized and said they never meant to leave the meme in the final iteration.
Vans is facing a boycott from former clients after removing protestor's entries in an annual creativity contest. The entry was a shoe with yellow umbrellas and several other HK rebellion symbols. Vans issued a statement as to "why they removed some entries that breached their terms of entry" in the contest, saying they're not a "political company".
A teenage performer from the band Twice was forced to apologize for waving a Taiwanese flag during a performance. The apology was a video in which she was reading a script, crying.
Gajin entertainment replaces Taiwan flags in historically accurate vehicles with Chinese flags, in a game known for accurately depicting history.
JPMorgan Chase - One of the biggest companies in the world, with assets worth almost 3 trillion USD (who is also reported to have said to accept slavers in case services weren't paid back in 2005 - no good source) tells their employees to not recognize or name Taiwan, HK or Macau as self-governing separate countries. JPMorgan also has plans to expand even more to China and reportedly even open a new bank there.