'Top Gun: Maverick' risks China's anger after for keeping Taiwan's flag on the iconic bomber jacket worn by Tom Cruise's character

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  • Taiwanese audiences cheered during a screening of "Top Gun: Maverick" upon seeing the Taiwan flag.

  • The Taiwan and Japan flags were replaced in a 2019 trailer for the film, seemingly to appease China.

  • However, the flags on Maverick's jacket appear to have been restored in the cut screened in Taiwan.

Taiwanese audiences erupted in cheers during an advance screening of "Top Gun: Maverick" following the appearance of the iconic bomber jacket worn by Tom Cruise's titular character.

According to local online media outlet SETN, viewers were "moved, surprised and delighted" upon sighting the Taiwan flag on the jacket and clapped and cheered several times. The flag was absent in a 2019 trailer for the film.

As Insider previously reported, the Taiwan and Japan flags were replaced at the time by other designs bearing similar colors — in what was widely regarded as a move to appease China's censors. However, both flags appear to have been restored in the cut of the film being screened in Taiwan.

"Top Gun: Maverick" is not expected to be released in China, Bloomberg reported, though it did not specify a reason. Including the flags risk angering China, the outlet reported.

Paramount Pictures, the studio behind the film, did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

The jacket first appeared in the original "Top Gun" in 1986. A large patch on its back commemorates a real-life US battleship's tour of Japan, Taiwan, and the Western Pacific. Fittingly, the patch displayed the flags of the US, United Nations, Japan, and Taiwan.

The Taiwanese flag is seen as a symbol of independence and defiance by Beijing, which considers the island to be Chinese territory, per The Guardian. Meanwhile, Japan occupied China during World War II, and the two countries still have bad blood from the fighting seven decades ago, Insider reported.

Per the BBC, Hollywood has been censoring its films to make them more palatable to the lucrative Chinese market.

"Hollywood is now pushing back," Chris Fenton, a former movie executive and author of "Feeding the Dragon: Inside the Trillion Dollar Dilemma Facing Hollywood, the NBA, & American Business," told Bloomberg. "The market is simply not worth the aggravation anymore in attempting to please Chinese censors."

In the US, "Top Gun: Maverick" grossed $160.5 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, making it the biggest Memorial Day opening weekend ever.

Read the original article on Insider