Last spring, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson announced plans to serve as an executive producer on BET’s new series, Finding Justice, through his Seven Bucks Productions company. He promoted the series on social media ahead of its March 10 premiere date and was immediately bombarded with hate.
A six-part docuseries, Finding Justice highlights the injustices found within six American cities.
Over the course of three weeks, Johnson shared three posts about the series. He unknowingly ignited a debate between fans supporting the series or denouncing the star because of his seemingly "newfound interest" in social justice.
On Johnson’s initial Finding Justice promo post, the show’s teaser highlighted police brutality and the murders of unarmed Black civilians. Along with commenters distancing themselves from Johnson, others denied the idea of social injustice in America.
One commenter wrote, "Really surprised the rock would post something like this. There is no true social injustice, only what the media shows the people. Its 2019 not 1950s, let's move on."
Another one added, "Do you see the hatred and evil you bring out by posting something like this, Ive been a huge fan of yours and have been since your wrestling days , but you fueling a fire with a post like this that's helping divide this country into a race war. You might have just lost a fan."
Johnson then shared a new promo video that provided broader details about the series.
One commenter wrote, "Hey @therock, how many woke points does this earn you in the Oppression Olympics. Makes sense to do stuff like this because you've got like 7 movies coming out this year."
"These people need to stop blaming everything for their actions and what puts them in prison. Just saying," another commenter added.
The actor’s most recent post about voter suppression drew a large response from former fans disappointed in his involvement in the series.
A former supporter said, "@therock WHY are YOU involved in this agenda pushing, fake a** news, racist bulls**t!!!!! Pls tell me it’s not true!!!!!"
Another ex-Johnson fan referenced his longtime affiliation with the WWE.
"Come on Dwayne, I have been behind you for years ever since the Hulkster passed you the torch. Now your basically spitting in my face with this left wing nonsense," the commenter said.
While Johnson’s interest in social issues appears to be an overnight change for some supporters on social media, longtime fans know he’s been vocal about his stance on political issues for years.
After talks of him possibly making a presidential run in 2020, Johnson threw subtle digs at President Donald Trump's administration during an interview with GQ. "I'd like to see a better leadership. I'd like to see a greater leadership," he began.
"When there's a disagreement, and you have a large group of people that you're in a disagreement with—for example, the media—I feel like it informs me that I could be better. We all have issues, and we all gotta work our sh*t out. And I feel like one of the qualities of a great leader is not shutting people out…the responsibility as president—I [would] take responsibility for everyone."
According to PEOPLE, he led a nationwide 2017 poll questioning who would be more likely to be elected as president of the United States between him and Trump.
During an interview with Rolling Stone, Johnson, who previously played football at the University of Miami, said he "would either have knelt or raised my first in solidarity" in Colin Kaepernick's kneeling protests against police brutality and systematic racial inequality if he were a player in the NFL.
He also talked about the importance of highlighting the stories of Black folklore legends after he was rumored to be starring in Netflix’s upcoming film John Henry and The Statesmen.
"These diverse characters speak to a legacy of storytelling that is more relevant than ever and span across a worldwide audience regardless of age, gender, race, or geography," Johnson said to Variety.
The WWE’s first third-generation wrestler, Johnson made history as the first Black man to win the company’s World Championship title. Before bringing home the title, he was a proud member of the wrestling group, The Nation of Domination, (N.O.D.), who was largely influenced by the Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam.
Just last week, Johnson took to social media to clarify questions about whether he identifies as Black.
Finding Justice may be Johnson’s first socially driven feature through Seven Bucks Productions, but it’s not his last.
HBO will air the Seven Bucks Productions-produced Rock and a Hard Place on March 27. The series will document the lives of formerly incarcerated young people given a second chance through the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Boot Camp.