The presence of a Taiwanese flag on aviator Pete “Maverick” Mitchell’s leather could lead to censorship of the film in China, according to CNN.
Best start of the year and hit at the worldwide box office since its release on May 25, the second opus of Top Gun may never be shown in Chinese cinemas. As CNN reports, China may censor the Paramount-Skydance blockbuster starring star actor Tom Cruise, due to a flag dispute. Beijing may not appreciate the presence of Taiwanese colors on the bomber jacket; China indeed considers that the island is an integral part of its territory.
While the movie starring the US Navy’s top fighter pilots grossed $124 million in its first weekend, it’s still not scheduled for release in mainland China. In the past, the Hollywood industry has taken into account the sensitivity of the Chinese authorities on the issue by removing symbols that Beijing could not accept, such as the flag of Taiwan.
“There is a good chance that Beijing will ban the release and monetization of Top Gun Maverick in China”, said Chris Fenton, former president of production company DMG Entertainment. “There is also a likelihood that the Chinese government will block the studio, filmmakers and market players for an extended period. We have witnessed similar punishments in the past,” he adds.
Moreover, in a trailer published in 2019 (the feature film being initially planned for the summer of 2020), the flags of Taiwan, but also that of Japan, had been masked and replaced by neutral symbols. Conversely, according to the newspaper Taiwan News the public of Taiwan would have reacted with joy by seeing their flag raised by Tom Cruise during a preview held in Taipei.