The politics of Dwayne Johnson—one of our most bankable actors—have always been a little hard to place. Early in the former WWE star's career, it seemed like he leaned more to the right, speaking at the 2000 Republican National Convention. In 2016, he didn't endorse a presidential candidate—though he has mentioned his disdain for President Trump. And even though he went so far with a presidential bid that he filed a campaign committee called “Run the Rock 2020” with the Federal Election Commission, he's never been too outspoken politically, remaining more neutral than anything.
But in an eight-minute-long video Johnson posted to Instagram and Twitter on Thursday, there’s no mistaking which side he’s on. In response to the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police last week—and in support of the thousands of people protesting for justice across the country—Johnson advocated for the Black Lives Matter movement and criticized President Trump without naming him. Throughout the speech, Johnson repeats: “Where are you? Where is our leader?”
“Where is our compassionate leader who’s going to step up to our country who’s down on its knees, and extend a hand and say, ‘You stand up, stand up with me because I got you. I hear you, I’m listening to you,’” Johnson says. “‘And you have my word that I’m going to do everything in my power, until my dying day, my last breath, to do everything I can to create the change that is needed, to normalize equality because black lives matter.’ Where are you?”
Johnson’s words follow his recent posts demanding justice for Floyd’s death—and even further back, his complicated political history. Even though he didn’t go through with his 2020 presidential bid, he’s long been vocal about ending gun violence, and supporting American troops. As for his presidential endorsements, he told Rolling Stone in 2018 that he voted for Barack Obama twice, but did not vote in the 2016 election. Though, he did say, “The next elections, in 2020, I think I’ll be a little bit more vocal in who I support.” With Thursday’s video, he’s following through on it.
“We must become the leaders we are looking for,” he said. “I’ll ask it one more time: Where are you? Where is that compassionate leader who steps up and takes accountability for his country and all the people in our country? Where are you? I’ll tell you what, we’re here. We’re all here.”
Johnson joins the increasing number of celebrities demanding change following Floyd’s death, like John Boyega, who grabbed a megaphone to deliver his own speech in London’s Hyde Park on Wednesday. At the end of Johnson’s video, he says that even with our current lack of leadership, change has already begun.
“The process to change has already begun,” he said near the end of the video. “You can feel it across our country. Change is happening. It’s going to take time. We’re going to get beat up. We’re going to take our lumps. There’s going to be blood, but the process of change has already begun.”
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