A weird interview with Dwayne Johnson made the rounds yesterday (Jan. 11). A piece in the UK tabloid The Daily Star had The Rock ranting about millenials and outrage culture, calling them “Generation Snowflake” and generally diving into the culture wars in a way he never had before.
It was pretty shocking, and not just because I’m a card-carrying mark for The Great One who dislikes when people dismiss other’s opinions and feelings with trite name calling, even when I disagree with their opinions or don’t share their feelings.
Would one of the biggest box office stars in the world, a performer whose rise in popularity is at least partially due to how he makes everyone who follows him online feel like a friend and confident, slam a sizeable portion of his potential audience? Could someone who seems to have political aspirations, and who’s thus far positoned himself as an alternative to the finger-pointing which makes up so much of our current discourse, suddenly decide it would be a good idea to sound like a scolding, Fox News-watching uncle/Twitter bot?
The only reason I wasn’t initially more skeptical of the interview was because Johnson’s friend and frequent collaborator/business partner Kevin Hart was just in the middle of an online controversy, as old homophobic tweets and jokes led to Hart leaving a gig as host of this year’s Oscars.
Turns out I should have been more skeptical. Because once the “interview” started to pick up steam, Johnson took to his social media to explain that it was 100% bull$#!+:
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Settin’ the record straight. The interview never happened. Never said those words. 100% false. If I ever had an issue with someone, a group, community or a generation — I’d seek them out, create dialogue and do my best to understand them. Criticizing ain’t my style. I don’t cast stones and we all get to be who we are. #millies #plurals #boomers #TequilaGeneration
“I can’t believe I have to do this again and set the record straight on something, but I’m happy to do it. Earlier today online an interview dropped with me - apparently it was with me - where I was insulting and criticizing millenials. The interview never took place, never happened, never said any of those words, completely untrue - 100% fabricated [laughs]. I was quite baffled when I woke up this morning. You know, I’ve gained such a great trust and equity with all you guys, all around the world over the years, and you know it’s not a real DJ interview if I’m ever insulting a group, a generation or anyone, because that’s not me. That’s not who I am, and that’s not what we do. So, to the millenials, the interview never happened. To the plurals, the baby boomers, the snowflake generation - I don’t even know where that term came from, the tequila generation - that’s a generation I just started, that’s a good one, you’ll want to join it. I always encourage empathy, I encourage growth, but most importantly I encourage everybody to be exactly who they want to be.”
So there you have it. The Daily Star (which finally deleted the article, but may have another in a long line of libel suits coming its way) can take their made up interview, turn that summabitch sideways, and stick it straight up their candy ass.