Paris museum darkens The Rock’s wax figure skin tone after backlashtext_fields
Paris: France's Musee Grevin museum has addressed concerns raised by Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock, and also his fans about the inaccurate portrayal of his wax figure.
Johnson’s wax figure appeared unusually smooth and fair-skinned, sparking significant social media outcry.
Within 24 hours, the wax figure was updated by artists using meticulous strokes of oil painting, giving it a slightly darker skin tone. Johnson's outfit, however, has remained.
Dwayne Johnson's wax statue made its debut at the Grévin Museum a week ago following his Grévin Award win, which is determined through fan votes.
However, the figure's light skin tone sparked significant criticism and comparisons to Mr. Clean, a brand name and mascot, owned by the American company Procter & Gamble, which is used for an all-purpose cleaner.
Comedian James Andre Jefferson Jr. amplified the issue with a video likening the statue to David Beckham, prompting Johnson to address the matter on Instagram.
In his post, Johnson conveyed his request for the museum to update the figure, particularly in terms of its skin colour.
“We found his reaction rather friendly when addressing the fact that his figure was indeed whiter than it should have been," said Veronique Berecz, the museum’s head of public relations.
Berecz has been at the iconic museum for over four decades and worked closely with the likes of Michael Jackson, Nicolas Cage and Donald Sutherland on their respective wax figures, notes 'Variety'.
"Unfortunately, we didn't get to meet Dwayne Johnson so we used several photos -- but as it turns out, pictures can be very tricky because the nuances of skin tones can differ depending on the lighting on photos,” she said, according to 'Variety'.
"Every time, the sculptor has to determine the exact face and body shapes, the volumes and it's always a very complicated challenge if we haven't met the person," Berecz added.
Berecz, 'Variety' added, pointed out that Johnson's figure required special treatment from the museum from the get-go.
"We conducted a casting of models based on his body measurements, and that wasn't a small undertaking because we had to find a man who had roughly the same body type as Dwayne Johnson -- a height of 6'5" with those huge muscles -- and we found our model in a bodybuilding club!" Berecz said.
Asked about her thoughts on accusations of the museum "whitewashing" Johnson’s figure, she said it didn't cross anyone's mind. "This has nothing do with it -- we just made an honest mistake based on the photos we looked at," she said.
Despite the controversy, Johnson maintained a good-humoured attitude and expressed his intention to visit the museum the next time he is in Paris.