After criticism for the statue of actor Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock, a creation of the Grévin Museum in Paris which showed the star’s skin too light compared to the star’s natural complexion, the museum has unveiled a new wax statue.
The new work arrived quickly, in response to the American actor’s complaints. The update was made by the museum’s artists within 24 hours and made the statue’s skin slightly darker with strokes of oil paint.
The museum’s public affairs manager, Veronique Berecz, said: “We found Dwayne Johnson’s reaction quite friendly in acknowledging that his statue was actually lighter than it should be. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to meet Dwayne Johnson, so we used several photos, but it turned out that photos can be deceiving due to the nuances of skin tones that can vary depending on the lighting in the photos.Each time, the sculptor must precisely determine the facial and body features, the volumes, and it is always a very complicated challenge if we don’t meet the person personally.”
Veronique Berecz revealed that Johnson’s statue required special treatment from the start. “We did a model casting based on his body measurements, and it wasn’t an easy task because we had to find a man with a physique roughly similar to Dwayne Johnson’s – over 5 feet 9 inches tall with those huge muscles – and we found our role model in a bodybuilding club!”.
When asked what she thought of the “whitewashing” accusations leveled at the museum regarding the Johnson statue, she said it hadn’t occurred to anyone. “It has nothing to do with it, we simply made an honest mistake based on the photos we looked at,” said Veronique Berecz, as reported by the American magazine in these hours Variety. “After seeing all these reactions on different blogs and social networks, we changed it immediately.”
The statue of discord
The wax work depicting a pale Johnson made its debut at the Grévin Museum a week ago, after the actor Fast & Furious won the first Grévin Awards, beating all other candidates. The award is voted on by fans who choose their favorite pop culture icon to immortalize in wax at the museum.
However, as reported by Todaythe light-skinned wax figure has sparked outrage among Johnson’s fans and prompted comparisons to Mr. Clean, who is known in Italy as Mastro Lindo.
It was a video by comedian James Andre Jefferson Jr. – who compared Dwayne Johnson to David Beckham – that sparked a reaction from The Rock, who announced on Instagram that his team would contact the Paris museum.
In the video, Jefferson Jr. says: “Do you know The Rock, the black Samoan? That’s what Paris thinks he is. They turned The Rock into a stone! Looks like The Rock has never seen the sun in his life… Have you ever looked for information about him?”.
Johnson also wrote on Instagram that he would pay a visit to the museum to toast himself the next time he passes through Paris.
As soon as criticism arose, the Musée Grévin, the wax museum located in Paris, immediately assured that it would “improve” the wax statue of the star of Fast & Furiousand in fact the transformation occurred within 24 hours.
The news of the actor’s “whitening” attracted widespread criticism on social media, where words of indignation, ironic jokes and accusations rained down, but also the star himself, the subject of the statue, complained about what happened.
“We bleached The Rock,” one user wrote on X. Instagram account The Shade Room called the figure “melanin deficient.”
The critical words of Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson, born in California, is the son of a Samoan mother and a Canadian father of African descent. On Sunday evening he also joined the criticism, reposting an Instagram video of comedian James Andre Jefferson Jr., who said the statue made him feel “fairly offended.”
“Looks like he works at H&R Block or something… That’s how you felt when you lost The little Mermaid? I understand”, said the comedian, referring with that “you” to “white” people and citing the debate over the casting of Halle Bailey for the live action film in which Ariel no longer has the “white” skin of the Disney animated film but shows off the skin of real actress Bailey. “It looks like The Rock has never seen the sun a day in his life… It looks like The Rock is part of the royal family.”
Alongside the video, Johnson wrote: “For the record, I will have my team get in touch with our friends at the Grevin Museum, in Paris, France, so we can work on ‘upgrading’ my wax figure with some important details and improvements, starting with the color of the skin. And next time I’m in Paris, I’ll stop by and have a drink with myself.”
Below is Dwayne Johnson’s Instagram post regarding his “bleached” statue.