The huge success of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ shows that even Hollywood is realizing the threat posed by China, said military contractor Erik Prince, who praised the film Thursday for restoring a Taiwanese patch on Tom Cruise’s famous jacket.
A trailer for the film in 2019 raised concerns that producers were bowing to China’s newfound financial might by removing two of the patches seen on Cruise’s back in the original film.
However, they were eventually reinstated despite concerns that the presence of a patch representing the autonomous island nation would offend Beijing.
“It’s amazing to see Hollywood come alive with a movie like Top Gun that’s pro-America, and kind of stands up to China because China complained about the mere patch of Taiwan on Tom Cruise’s jacket,” he said. Prince to Steve. Bannon on his War Room podcast, which was taped at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas.
Prince and Bannon have long railed against the threat from Communist China.
Tom Cruise’s original jacket (left) had patches featuring the flags of Japan and Taiwan. In the 2019 trailer (right), they were replaced by patches with generic symbols
On Thursday, military contractor Erik Prince said the recovery from the Taiwanese patch showed Hollywood was now alert to the threat of an emboldened China.
Prince made his commentary on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast, which aired from the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas
And they have criticized the liberals for being too slow to respond and mistakenly believing that helping China to develop would turn the country into a peace-loving democracy.
In recent years, Hollywood has tried to monetize the Chinese audience by not using China as an aggressor in action movies.
But Prince said that Top Gun producers managed to make money by standing up to the Chinese.
“And that movie made over a billion dollars,” he said. ‘Awesome.
“And that’s how Hollywood woke up.”
The controversy erupted in 2019 when eagle-eyed viewers of a trailer for the sequel noticed something odd. Two patches on the back of Cruise’s iconic jacket, marking port visits to Japan and Taiwan, had been turned into generic symbols.
Reports suggested the change was made to appease Chinese censors and one of the film’s backers, the Chinese company Tencent Pictures.
But the patches were reinstated when the Chinese lender withdrew.
However, the film does not have a Chinese release date yet.
Analysts have also identified another trend. After years of action films set between Afghan mountains or dusty Iraqi villages, with American soldiers tackling counter-terrorism operations, the latest Top Gun film shows the great, daring American might.
It features huge aircraft carriers patrolling the oceans, and the latest generation of fighter jets carrying out daring missions.
It comes as the US refocuses its military stance with billions of dollars in assets and rearranges its alliances in the Indo-Pacific region to face an emboldened China.
‘Are you on the side of freedom? Or on the side of the [Chinese Communist Party] and all his tentacles,” Prince asked.
The threat was fully visible on Thursday as China held live fire drills in the waters around Taiwan following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit.
China stepped up its military harassment of Taiwan on Thursday by firing ballistic missiles that flew over the island and landed in Japanese waters
China fires short-range ballistic missiles into waters near Taiwan on Thursday as four days of live-fire drills begin that will effectively blockade the island in its biggest threat to its independence in decades
Chinese missile batteries open fire from shore at Pingtang Island across the Taiwan Strait as Beijing kicks off its biggest-ever war games around the self-governing island
The autonomous island said China fired 11 ballistic missiles into waters off its southwestern and northeastern coasts on Thursday over a two-hour period.
Beijing also pitted fighter jets and sent some of its most modern warships to encircle the island in what state media say is rehearsal for an invasion. The exercises will run through Sunday and will include long-range bombers and hypersonic missiles. China’s two aircraft carriers also hold close position.
US forces — including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan deployed forward with the Pacific Fleet — are said to lurk nearby, while missile-tracking spy planes have been sent to monitor the exercises.
Prince said he did not believe China was preparing for an invasion.
“I’m glad to see US government representatives visit Taiwan,” he said
“My concern is that it just gives them a casus belli to do this and lash out at Taiwan. I still don’t think they’re trying to bridge the gap right now.’