Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is in some hot water with fans after posting a few photos of him and his family at the Georgia Aquarium over the weekend. Now, some are accusing the star of supporting animal captivity.
The “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” star posted three photos on Sunday of himself, his wife and their oldest daughter enjoying the sights at the aquarium. The first showed them inspecting a tank of whale sharks in which he wrote about being in awe of the animals. Johnson also thanked the staff of the aquarium, which oversee more than 100,000 animals and sea creatures.
The second post showed Johnson playing with a beluga whale joking that he’d found his next co-star. The third image showed the star smiling down on a sea lion that’s looking up at him from its tank. While the images may seem harmless and the star grateful for the experience, many animal rights advocates were quick to take to the comments section to rebuke Johnson for advocating for animals in captivity.
“This animal just need to be back in the ocean!!!” one user wrote.
“For F*ck sake! Sad that a ‘celebrity’ in the public eye is in support of something so inhumane!” another said.
“Stop spreading propaganda. The Georgia Aquarium takes animals from their native waters so they can exploit them for profit. These animals don’t belong in tiny chlorinated pools,” another user wrote. “This is animal abuse.”
On Monday, Johnson shared a video of himself with a sea lion named Katie in which he pretends to hold a conversation with her while she makes noise on command.
"I am one with creatures and animals and basically anything with a heartbeat," he begins the video.
Since posting the images, the comments section of each photo and the video has been a deluge of angry animal rights supporters either arguing with people or chastising the star for his decision to support the practice of keeping animals in captivity by supporting the staff.
Johnson, who can be seen next on his HBO series “Ballers,” has not responded to the criticism. Instead, he opted to to share a note eulogizing his friend, the recently-departed wrestler Brian Christopher Lawler. As previously reported, Lawler died in his jail cell of an apparent suicide.
“RIP brother,” Johnson wrote in the caption of a picture of the two of them together. “Spent all week trying to process the hard loss of my good bud, Brian Christopher Lawler. He became a great friend the day I stepped foot in the small wrestling territory in the south known as the USWA to start my pro wrestling career.”