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Why Tom Cruise's jacket in Top Gun: Maverick angered China

It was even censored in the trailers

Why Tom Cruise's jacket in Top Gun: Maverick angered China It was even censored in the trailers

Tom Cruise has done a lot recently: he was a surprise award winner at Cannes, received the best reviews and highest box office of his career for Top Gun: Maverick, and even challenged two Formula 1 drivers by driving a Porsche on the Silverstone track. Another thing Tom Cruise did was anger the Chinese government. In fact, as Vice reports, the iconic aviator jacket worn by Pete Maverick in 1986 had a patch on the back that included the flags of Japan and Taiwan. In the first trailer for the new film, it appeared that the design of the jacket had been changed and the two flags replaced with random symbols. Which is not uncommon today, with international blockbusters being forced to package films designed to overtake strict Chinese censorship and enter a lucrative million-viewer market. But in a rather unexpected move, the film's management kept the Taiwanese flag on Tom Cruise's jacket-news that made quite a sensation in Taiwan, with some of the major news channels reporting the full story.

Interviewed by Bloomberg about the episode, movie executive and author Christ Fenton said that «Hollywood is now pushing back» against Chinese censorship. But already the first results began to appear immediately: the WSJ recounted last Friday how at the first signs of trouble the tech company Tencentof WeChat, «backed out of the $170 million Paramount Pictures production after they grew concerned that Communist Party officials in Beijing would be angry about the company’s affiliation with a movie celebrating the American military». Needless to say, the film was not approved for Chinese release, along with a number of other Hollywood films that, due to rising tensions between the two countries, refused to adapt to censorship standards. Also according to the WSJ, the film could have earned $80 million in the Chinese market partly thanks to the help of Tencent, which would have helped in the marketing campaign as well as on the financial side-one of the company's own executives had suggested changing the flags on the jacket.

It now remains unclear, however, as to the course of events: at first glance it would appear that the Chinese company has withdrawn in 2019 «as part of President Xi Jinping’s tightening grip on his country’s businesses. At a July 2019 ceremony announcing its co-financing of “Top Gun: Maverick,” Tencent also trumpeted a coming lineup of propagandistic domestic films extolling the history and heroism of the Chinese Communist Party». Therefore, it would not have been enormous heroism on the part of Paramount, who in any case decided to forgo the Chinese release of the film with all the money it meant.