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Let Dwayne Johnson's 'snowflake generation' comments be a reminder not to believe everything you read online

It’s 2019 and, somehow, we’re still having this conversation.

Skyscraper Premiere - New York Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

OVER THE WEEKEND, there was a certain cohort of people delighted by the news that actor and former professional wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson had come out and slammed the ‘snowflake generation’ and their obsession with being offended. 

On Friday, The Daily Star published an interview with The Rock, which written by a freelance journalist, who was not living in the UK. This journalist has not been responding to messages since the interview was published, and The Daily Star have since pulled the article from their website – but it is still quoted on other tabloids like Metro News

The Daily Star claimed that Dwayne Johnson had said, “So many people fought for freedom and equality – but this generation are looking for a reason to be offended. If you are not agreeing with them, then they are offended – and that is not what so many great men and women fought for.” The interview claimed that Johnson also added:

We thankfully now live in a world that has progressed over the last 30 or 40 years. People can be who they want, be with who they want, and live how they want. That can only be a good thing – but generation snowflake or, whatever you want to call them, are actually putting us backwards. 

Many of Johnson’s fans were a bit confused by this interview, because it seems to go against many of the views and values that the actor publicly holds, and it doesn’t particularly sound like something he would say. 

Despite that, this interview was shared thousands of times (9,600+ times from Metro News alone) by people who were pleased to have The Rock on their side in what they perceive to be the fight against PC culture.  

By Saturday afternoon, those who shared the article looked pretty silly, when Johnson uploaded a video refuting the comments attributed to him in The Daily Star’s interview. The Guardian published the video, which opened with Johnson saying, “I can’t believe I have to do this, AGAIN!” 

I’m happy to do it. Earlier today, online, an interview dropped with me – apparently it was with me – where I was insulting and criticising millennials. The interview never took place. Never happened. Never said any of those words. Completely untrue. 100% fabricated. I was quite baffled when I woke up this morning. 

Source: Guardian News/YouTube

I’ve gained such a great trust in equity with all you guys, all around the world over the years and you know it’s not a real DJ [Dwayne Johnson] interview if I’m 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 millennials, the interview never happened. To the plurals, to the baby boomers, to 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 wanna join it), I always encourage empathy, I always encourage growth but most importantly, I encourage everybody to be exactly who they want to be. 

Now, look how emphatic and enthusiastic Johnson was in that video, compared to the quotes published by The Daily Star, which sounded like any random bitter aul fella giving out about young people to nobody in particular down in his local to take his mind off the divorce. There’s no way those two sets of comments were made by the same person. 

We all know that there’s a big problem with people believing every single thing that they read online, so you might be wondering if there will be any repercussions for the newspaper and authors behind this mess. The Daily Star is owned by Reach PLC who own the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror, all of which are overseen by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

This means that if Dwayne Johnson wanted to take this further, he could make an accuracy complaint to the press regulator. There’s no word on whether or not he has decided to do so yet. 

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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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