Bashed mercilessly back in 2019 for kowtowing to Communist China by removing flags of Taiwan and Japan from Tom Cruise’s flight jacket in a preview clip, the movie now shows both flags in their full glory.
Is Hollywood tired of bending to China’s will?
The flags were part of a Far East Cruise patch commemorating the 1963-64 deployment by the USS Galveston off Japan and Taiwan, worn by Tom Cruise’s character Pete Mitchell (aka Maverick) on his leather flight jacket in the 1986 original Top Gun movie.
In the preview clip for the movie in 2019 those two historically accurate flags were replaced by generic nonsensical symbols, ostensibly to placate the Chicoms (aka Communist Chinese) who were partly financing the production.
— Taiwan News (@TaiwanNews886) May 25, 2022
In the movie the jacket had belonged to Mitchell’s father.
The new sequel features the ageless Tom Cruise as now Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell as he returns after 36 years to the U.S. Naval Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, known as Top Gun.
The Washington Times notes how the missing flags originally provoked outrage, especially among conservatives:
“Hollywood is relying more and more on Chinese markets to make profits,” Heritage noted. “That means our films are being written with China in mind. In order for a movie to be played in China the script must be approved in advance and in doing so American audiences are being submitted to censorship.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, in late 2019 Tencent Holdings, a Chinese internet company withdrew from the $170 million Paramount Pictures project concerned that the movie’s pro-U.S. military message would anger the Chinese Communist Party.
The Times adds:
Ian Easton, author of “The Chinese Invasion Threat,” called the studio’s split with Tencent “great news.”
“After a brush with anti-American censorship, Top Gun 2 shed its ties to China’s government and won its soul back,” tweeted Mr. Easton, senior director of the Project 2049 Institute. “How many other American movies have sacrificed their values and principles at the altar of Chinese investment?”
And screenwriter Jingan Yang tweeted: “A huge U turn by the studio which initially whitewashed the Taiwan flag from his jacket. This just CONFIRMS Hollywood is no longer wanting to pander to China. Welcome to a new and wonderful era. Welcome back cinema.”
As part of the celebration of the return of the Taiwanese flag, in Taiwan, one cinema is planning to offer limited edition versions of the jacket for $1,449.
Where can I order one?