Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, retweeted on Sunday his interview with Good Morning Britain in which the actor was asked about Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He jokingly added, “He’s family!” referencing to his matching the last name with the controversial political figure. “You don’t know that… but now all of Britain knows. Yeah, He’s my cousin. It’s like looking in the mirror. Every time I see Boris!”
While being on the morning talk show, Johnson was promoting his upcoming film Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw, and on TV, it is obvious that he’s completely joking about being related to the new British PM, who recently came to power after Theresa May stepped down. The 47-year-old star of Moana was laughing hysterically, and so was the show’s host. It was all in good fun.
However, after that, The Rock retweeted the clip and added his own message which seemed to endorse Boris, users on Twitter were quickly concerned. Even though the tweet remained for less than 15 minutes before being deleted, seeing that one of the biggest action movie stars in the world aligned himself with Boris left many in awe.
The thing that certainly didn’t help was that on that same evening, Last Week Tonight returned from its summer hiatus on HBO, and the host John Oliver heavily criticized the Boris in his main segment, and compared him to President Donald Trump. “Unfortunately, the U.K. is about to be completely f***ed,” Oliver said. “Given that Britain’s new leader is a clownish figure with silly hair and a passing relationship with the truth, you may already be thinking of the person you’re almost always thinking about anyway.”
Wait, did we hear that correctly?
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) July 29, 2019
In the message that was quickly deleted, Johnson wrote, “BREAKING: PM Boris Johnson is, in fact, my cousin (though we clearly look more like twins.” — And he should have stopped there. But he added, “Jokes aside, PM did say something in his speech I liked- ‘the people are our bosses. 100% agree. The people/audience/consumer will always matter most. #ourboss”
After the message that was deleted, Johnson quickly came out with an apology. On the edited tweet The Rock wrote, “Well according to the people, maybe we’re not related after all – Big mahalo to my people who I can always rely on to give me the real talk and swift perspective & education on the individual I did not know – Tequila on me, Britain.”
The Responses on Twitter Varied From Alarmist to Playful
Users on Twitter responded differently to Johnson’s PR disaster. While at first, most of his 13.6 million followers were amazed that he would be so kind to such a polarizing political figure, one user begged, “Please don’t normalize Boris,” while others, after the apology, joined in on the laugh. Some even used Johnson’s popular GIF to react.