John Cena Facing Backlash for ‘Tone Deaf’ ‘Peacemaker’ Tweet as Russia Invades Ukraine

The actor tweeted that the world needs a "real life" Peacemaker.
John Cena, Peacemaker-HBO-Max
John Cena, "Peacemaker"

Just a reminder that superheroes don’t exist in real life.

Peacemaker” star John Cena tweeted amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine that he wished his HBO Max alter ego was a reality.

“If I could somehow summon the powers of a real life #Peacemaker I think this would be a great time to do so,” the WWE champion wrote.

After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 23, Ukrainian filmmakers and Russian directors have called for peace, while American actors and filmmakers like David Lynch, Angelina Jolie, AnnaLynne McCord, and now Cena have taken to social media to weigh in. Sean Penn is currently filming a documentary about Ukraine’s struggle to maintain independence.

Cena was promptly criticized on Twitter for his tweet centering the James Gunn–helmed series amid the unfolding crisis.

“Why are you using a war to advertise a show?” one Twitter user asked, citing the use of the hashtag for the series.

“John, this is in poor taste. Also your character is not the good guy,” one fan responded.

Another commented, “I’m just saying there is never an appropriate moment to say this, especially now.”

A viewer added, “A bit tone deaf @JohnCena. Please delete. From a conversation I’m in: Families have literally been blown to pieces in Ukraine. Meanwhile Cena, ‘I AM A COMIC BOOK ACTOR, IF MY CHARACTER WAS REAL, I WOULD STOP IT FROM HAPPENING.'” 

This isn’t the first time Cena has found himself in hot water over political statements. The “F9” actor issued an apology to China after calling Taiwan a country during an interview with Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS. “Taiwan is the first country that can watch ‘F9,'” Cena said at the time, sparking outrage in China from nationalists who consider Taiwan a territory.

Cena shared an apology video to Chinese social media platform Weibo. Speaking in Mandarin, Cena said, “I’m sorry for my mistake. I must say now, [it’s] very, very, very, very important [that] I love, and respect even more, China and the Chinese people.”

CNN noted: “Taiwan is a self-governed democratic island, but China claims it as its sovereign territory despite the two sides being ruled separately since the end of a civil war over 70 years ago. Beijing considers any suggestion of Taiwan’s independence crossing its ‘red line,’ and has been increasingly trying to use its economic power to police speech on the topic around the world.”

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