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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was excited to announce that he’s playing the legendary folklore hero, John Henry, for the Netflix movie. CBS News states that Henry is known as an African-American folk hero. He was a steel driver that worked very hard until his heart stopped from stress.

Johnson went on social media to post a trailer of the film and said, “WHEN THE MAN COMES AROUND. Inspired to bring to life one of my childhood heroes, John Henry, in JOHN HENRY & THE STATESMEN. In this movie, I’ll lead an ensemble of the most popular folklore figures and legends from different cultures around the world. @NETFLIX is the perfect partner & platform to bring these global folklore icons to life. “

The director, Jake Kasden, who worked with Johnson on “Jumanji,” is excited to work with him again. Twitter users sounded off and aren’t happy about Johnson playing this role because Henry is a dark-skinned black man.

Johnson is mixed, but in the past has played White, Black as well as Pacific Islander characters. Who would you rather see in this role?


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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Faces Backlash Over Role As John Henry was originally published on

15 thoughts on “Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Faces Backlash Over Role As John Henry

  1. Elvin Jones on said:

    Its not silly, it’s a very valid point. What you see on that screen is very important….This bigger than the Rock….recast the roll period……What kids see and some of you grown also does play into their psychy , pun intended…..

  2. You guys do know that the Rock is half black and zero percent white. I get that he doesn’t look the part but how can you call it whitewash when he is not white. They just want to use the biggest name they can everyone else named would fit the part but arent the same star level as the rock.

  3. Yeah it’s ok when a non “black”person play a fictional character but it’s not ok for black person to play a white character in fictional, like when the talk about Idris Elba playing 007,yall white spoke out against it.The Rock is only black when it suits him.

  4. Come on guys, I agree with Kate. It’s a movie, it’s fiction, nobody is going to be hurt by the Rock playing John Henry. If you don’t like it,don’t watch it. Use the energy you’re wasting on this post to convince people to get to the polls to vote!

  5. Tanisha on said:

    The few movies of the Rock that I could even bare to watch was of him being the white man in the movie. Even in Jumanji he played the geeky white boy. I’ve never seen him play the role of a black man. But I don’t think he’s a good actor anyway therefore I don’t watch too many movies with him in it. I don’t understand all the hype about him.

  6. Norm Bush on said:

    An African played Martin Luther King in the movie.No one Objectived Duane Should be able to play A mythical African-American because his Ancestery is same as a
    whole lot of Black folks.

  7. With the exception of 1, all of the actors named would be good for the role.

    But I’d much rather Dwyane have the role as oppose to Common. He can’t act worth crap.

  8. tedgravely on said:

    Yes John Henry is a mythical character, but remember the buzz and backlash with Idris playing fictional 007. They scrapped that with a quickness. Turn about is fair play, and this should be questioned. No black person or mulatto will play Spider-Man, definitely not Superman, and they will die before they cast any brother as Batman or flaky Robin. The myth that black characters don’t sell unless whitewashed is garbage. Don’t get mad; let NETFLIX know you’re displeased and cancel your subscription for that month to send a message. It’s not the Rock’s fault that he can slip in and out of color when it’s profitable. It’s ours for supporting this nonsense.

    • Gladys on said:

      @tedgravely- You must be crazy asking folks to cancel their $7.99 Netflix account, when cable cost at least, at least $130.00 month. Nope, keeping my netflix with my $12.99 plan and all my friends and family use.

      • Michael J on said:

        Gladys you’re comical. Black folks watch more television than any other group of people. Maybe you should turn your television off for a month. I promise you won’t suffer from withdrawals.

      • I seriously don’t think that having a person of another race play a mythical character in a movie is going to do much in the way of “getting rid of black people.” It’s a movie. It’s fiction. No black people will be harmed in the making of this movie. Feel better now?

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