Dwayne Johnson posted a passionate video on Twitter, showing support for Black Lives Matter and appearing to question President Trump’s lack of leadership during nationwide protests against George Floyd’s death.
“Where are you? Where is our leader?” Johnson starts out by asking. “Where is our leader at this time when our country is down on its knees, begging, pleading, hurt, angry, frustrated, in pain with its arms out, just wanting to be heard?”
More from Variety
- Celebrities and Politicians Gather to Honor George Floyd
- Kanye West Launches College Fund for George Floyd's Daughter, Reveals $2 Million in Additional Donations
- 'American Son' Director Rapman: 'Blue Story' Cinema Ban Won't Happen to Another Black Director
The actor repeatedly asks, “Where are you?” throughout the video, which lasts eight minutes and 25 seconds. Floyd died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer, who has since been charged with second-degree murder, held his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
“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. 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 says.
Though Johnson doesn’t refer to Trump by name, it’s clear he is speaking about the American president. The monologue is one of the strongest political stances he has openly taken during his career.
The actor also calls out the “All Lives Matter” movement, saying that right now, Black lives need support.
“Of course, all lives matter, but in this moment right now, this defining, pivotal, explosive moment where our country is down on its knees…we must say the words: Black lives matter,” he says.
“We must become the leaders we are looking for. 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?” Johnson says. “Where are you? I’ll tell you what, we’re here. We’re all here. The process to change has already begun. 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.”
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) June 4, 2020
Johnson has previously taken in interest in politics himself. In 2017, the A-lister told Variety he would “100% consider” running for office. On Wednesday evening, some fans commented on Johnson’s video post that he should run for president; others expressed disappointment with him getting political.
“I’m well aware politics is not the business I’m in, so the best thing I can do is continuing to listen and learn as much as I can,” Johnson told Variety in late 2017, when asked about his political ambitions. “I’m continuing to watch our presidency and watch how every new development is handled. I continue to watch our leaders in government, and like all Americans, I continue to be hopeful that our leaders exhibit poise, perspective and the ability to bring our country together during these tough times — which I don’t feel our presidency is currently doing — so that’s where I’m at.”
This week, to support Blackout Tuesday, Johnson posted an image of a black square on his Instagram account, like many people around the world did to show solidarity with protesters. He posted messages from his production company, Seven Bucks Productions, and his Teremana Tequila business.
“We have a deep accountability to our Black community, and we demand equality,” he wrote.
Johnson also posted a photo last week with a quote from Floyd, “I can’t breathe,” along with a lengthy caption with his thoughts on the tragedy.
“Where’s the greater accountability? The leadership to healing. More importantly, the leadership to EQUALITY. We ultimately win when we can normalize equality,” he wrote. “I’m so sorry to the Floyd family. My heart breaks for you.”
Best of Variety
- The Best Movies on Netflix
- Everything Coming to Netflix in June
- What's Coming to Disney Plus in June 2020