John Cena is facing backlash from netizens following a tweet leveraging Russia's invasion of Ukraine to promote his HBO show Peacemaker. The actor said in his tweet, "If I could somehow summon the powers of a real life #Peacemaker I think this would be a great time to do so."
Cena even added a hashtag before the title of the series to promote the titular DC superhero he plays as in the series. The tweet quickly went viral as fans and netizens were appalled by his brazen actions. Fans pointed out that while the tweet may have been well-intended, the hashtag made it seem more promotional for Peacemaker instead. Netizens also felt that the tweet was distasteful.
Meanwhile, others gave Cena the benefit of the doubt, and suggesting that he takes more actionable means to show his support for Ukraine instead. For instance, Liverpool FC told Cena in a tweet, "But you can use your platform to spread the truth about what’s happening." Some netizens also suggested that Cena can show his "power of money and status" to help those in Ukraine.
A handful of netizens, as well as actor and director Sam Haft, found it odd that Cena would promote Peacemaker amidst a war as they pointed out that the character was a villain, and that "the power of peacemaker is murdering people". Peacemaker is a villain in the DC comics, known to fight for peace at any cost, no matter how many people he has to kill to get it.
The Peacemaker series is a spinoff of last year's The Suicide Squad and was the most in-demand original streaming TV series in the world as of January 22, according to the data firm Parrot Analytics. It is around 69.5 times more in demand than any average series. The show is also streamed on HBO GO in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
According to reports, last year, the demand for HBOMax series grew by 39.2%. In the fourth quarter results, HBO Max and HBO had subscribers of 73.8 million. In total, direct-to-consumer subscription revenues were up 11.5% in the fourth quarter. John Stankey, CEO of AT&T said the company ended 2021 the way it started it – by growing customer relationships, running operations more effectively and efficiently, and sharpening our focus.
Last year, HBO Max also named Pia Chaozon Barlow EVP, originals marketing, HBO Max. Barlow also worked in the likes of Netflix and Twentieth Century Fox Film, and will oversee marketing for all original programming on HBO Max.
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