Hollywood reportedly responded after frustration mounted over a missing patch from character Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell’s bomber jacket in “Top Gun: Maverick,” the sequel to Tom Cruise’s 1986 classic film “Top Gun.”
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Fans reportedly noticed Maverick’s Taiwanese flag patch — which represented his father’s battleship tours in Taiwan and Japan between 1963 and 1964 — was missing in a 2019 trailer.
The reported scrub got quite a bit of attention on social media, according to The Daily Wire.
Critics believed the purported removal was potentially tied to appeasing China, though no official explanation was given. Others speculated that, rather than an intentional removal, perhaps the flags just weren’t being appropriately seen in those newer trailers.
Either way, Mitchell, played by Cruise, had the Taiwanese patch on his jacket once again when the movie was released this past weekend, sparking interesting reactions.
There’s a new Top Gun movie coming out. And Maverick is wearing the same leather jacket – only this time it’s Communist Party of China-approved, so the Japanese and Taiwanese flag patches are gone (screenshot on right is from the new trailer)… pic.twitter.com/gUxFNFNUKX— Mark MacKinnon (@markmackinnon) July 19, 2019
Vice reported the inclusion of Japanese and Taiwanese flags had “Taiwan moviegoers clapping and cheering.” Some see the move as bold, despite producers not yet explaining the initial removal or the return of the patches.
“It is unprecedented. Major film studios have never been shy about pandering to the Chinese market,” film critic Ho Sie Bun told VICE. “And even if it is a simple scene, editing is very costly. So no one knows why they changed it back.”
Bloomberg, which said the movie isn’t likely to be released in China, warned the decision could “anger China,” considering the fiery debate over Taiwanese territory, which China views as its own.
Taiwan, of course, sees itself as its own independent nation.
If the images were indeed removed and replaced, the decision is noteworthy.
As Faithwire has reported, Hollywood has had a history of kowtowing to China.
CNN’s Jake Tapper unleashed over the matter last year, lambasting Hollywood and American businesses for looking past atrocities committed by the Chinese Community Party.
“This year, both the Trump and Biden administrations have asserted that China is committing, quote ‘genocide and crimes against humanity,'” Tapper said in December. “Of course, Apple and Nike publicly claim to decry slave labor, but, to be clear, the behavior we are seeing from U.S. corporations is not about a company surviving. It’s about discontent with just hundreds of millions of dollars, desiring instead billions of dollars. And those riches — they create blinders.”
It will be interesting to see if there’s an explanation from “Top Gun: Maverick” producers on the Taiwan imagery. Regardless, the movie is a smash hit.
The film reportedly brought in more than $282 million worldwide during its opening weekend.
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