The $150-million-plus box office haul of Tom Cruise’s new “Top Gun” flick was supposed to be a victory over Hollywood’s wokeness.
But it seems that the anti-woke view showed up in a more subtle way that many moviegoers may have not noticed, but which pealed like thunder overseas.
In the original 1986 hit film, Cruise, as a Navy fighter pilot nicknamed “Maverick,” dons a bomber jacket with a huge patch in the middle of the back that signified the Pacific tour of his father, also a fighter pilot who was killed in Vietnam, along the coasts of Japan and Taiwan.
When initial images of the remake came out three years ago, the patch was there, but the images recalling Taiwan and Japan were gone, replaced by gibberish signs.
Some critics saw the swap as Hollywood kneeling to the Chinese company that helped fund production and the communist leaders of its anticipated humongous audience in China.
Yet when the movie finally hit movie screens, the former patch was back. That led The Daily Wire to declare over the weekend, “Hollywood has chosen the USA over China.”
The Washington Times also chimed in, citing reporting by Taiwan News, which noted, “The original version of the naval patch with the Taiwan and Japan flags is clearly visible.”
“The reappearance of the ‘Far East Cruise’ patch, which commemorates the USS Galveston’s 1963-64 tour of duty with the 7th Fleet off Japan and Taiwan, prompted fist-pumps from fans of Taiwan and foes of Chinese censorship,” the Times added.
Perhaps a little too exuberantly, screenwriter Jingan Yang said on Twitter, “A huge U-turn by the studio which initially whitewashed the Taiwan flag from his jacket. This just CONFIRMS Hollywood is no longer wanting to pander to China. Welcome to a new and wonderful era. Welcome back cinema.”
The Times also quoted author Ian Easton, who has written about the threat China poses, who tweeted, “After a brush with anti-American censorship, Top Gun 2 shed its ties to China’s government and won its soul back. How many other American movies have sacrificed their values and principles at the altar of Chinese investment?”
Solomon Yue, a Republican National Committee member from Oregon, added, “We can’t allow the Chinese Communist Party to buy Hollywood and dictate what we Americans should watch in our movies. I am glad that Paramount stood up to Chinese censorship in America.”
Perhaps someone can now tell the NBA.