Celebrities are well known for being advocates of important causes – mental health, homelessness, and animal rights to name just a few.
Being in the public eye 24/7 means that their actions are constantly critiqued, so they more often than not use their social media platforms to act as role model for their fans.
However, no one can be perfect all of the time, which Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson proved last week when he caused controversy by posting a picture online that depicted a different side to him.
He posted the picture on Instagram three days ago (October 19):
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TBT in our beloved Florida Everglades where I tamed Big Bertha — the legendary swampland gator responsible for biting off 7 human arms, 47 toes, 12 truck bumpers and 1 leather fanny pack. My interpretation of “fun” has always been slightly debatable. Now kindly hold my tequila tea, I gotta gator to wrassle 😈💪🏾
In it, he is sitting on top of an alligator, clamping its mouth shut and posing for the picture with a smile.
The caption reads:
TBT in our beloved Florida Everglades where I tamed Big Bertha — the legendary swampland gator responsible for biting off 7 human arms, 47 toes, 12 truck bumpers and 1 leather fanny pack.
My interpretation of “fun” has always been slightly debatable. Now kindly hold my tequila tea, I gotta gator to wrassle
According to Yahoo, the picture is a throwback from when Johnson visited the Florida Everglades to film an episode of his reality show, Wake Up Call.
He makes reference to the fact that his actions are probably not something which everyone agrees with in the caption, saying the kind of things he finds fun are ‘debatable’.
And he couldn’t have spoken truer words, because immediately after posting the photo his followers let him know just what they thought of the picture.
One person told him to delete the picture because ‘tons of people’ were beginning to hate him, while another said they were ‘so disappointed’ to see him posing like that, questioning his morals.
One fan called on Johnson to ‘do better’ for the people who look up to him, saying:
Why would you be so cruel to that gator? Come on Dwayne…you’re a leader in this community. Do better. Not cool.
And another criticised his treatment of the alligator, saying:
I simply don’t believe it’s okay to use animals like this. Why go out of his way to mess this animal without any concern for its well being? There is no way this is a good or healthy thing for it.
However, plenty of his fans jumped to his defence and the photo quickly gained more than four million likes – suggesting that the majority of people didn’t believe him to be advocating animal abuse.
His loyal fans defended him, telling him to ‘keep doing you’ and advising him to stand his ground, ignoring those who misunderstand him.
One mentioned the place where he visited, stating:
He didn’t hurt it though. That place actually helps animals to the point they trust them.
Either way, it’s unlikely The Rock will have posed for a picture and posted it to Instagram if he believed that he had abused the alligator.
And many of those commenting could only focus on one thing – the size of his muscles. Some captioned the image ‘beast on a beast’ while others suggested he would be stronger than the huge alligator.
And it isn’t surprising. Johnson has been showing the world just how ripped he is recently on his Instagram page, giving fans a glimpse into his world of work outs.
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Dialed in & hit the mark. 260lbs of attitude & classy cuss words. After 18 weeks of disciplined diet & intense training, here’s where I landed my carcass for shooting my FAST & FURIOUS spin-off HOBBS & SHAW. Always room for improvements, but not too bad for a scarred up surgically repaired Brahma Bull who’s injuries always tell the story. Huge THANKS to my strength and conditioning coach @daverienzi for his masterful strategies that’s constantly shifting daily based on how I’m looking/feeling to achieve our goals. THANKS to EVERYONE in my inner circle (including the NASA scientists 😉) who support the big picture – my diet, training, health & wellness, balance, consistency and execution. Finally, THANKS TO ALL THE FANS. My people out there worldwide 🌎 who buy into our grind belief and my philosophy that payin’ our dues is owed on a daily basis. Thanks for rockin’ with me — let’s have some fun and take this HOBBS & SHAW franchise to the next level. #HardestWorkerInTheRoom #Hobbs #NightlyTequilaDrinker 🥃
The Rock has been getting into shape (or should I say, even more into shape) for the new Fast and the Furious spin-off, meaning he’s been spending a lot of time at the gym.
He wrote there is ‘always room for improvements’, suggesting he’s not about to dial back anytime soon!
I guess I’d better head to the gym then…
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).