Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson accepted the Generation Award at the MTV Movie and TV Awards on Saturday and the actor gave a moving speech about how his success was the result of him making up his mind that he was not going to conform to Hollywood.
“When I first got to Hollywood – Hollywood, they didn’t know what the hell to do with me,” Johnson told the crowd at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. “I mean, I was this half-black, half-Samoan and six-foot four, 275-pound pro wrestler. You know; I was told at that time, well, you got to be a certain way. You got to drop some weight. You’ve got to be somebody different. You got to stop working out. Stop doing the things that I love. You got to stop calling yourself ‘The Rock.’ What?!”
Hollywood has a rich history of changing people in the quest to make them into stars, a process that often creates caricatures of people instead of showcasing who they are.
And Johnson initially adhered to the advice he was given, but said doing so made him “miserable.”
“And for years I actually bought into it,” Johnson continued. “Because you think, ‘Oh, that’s what I’m supposed to do.’ And I was miserable doing that. So I made a choice. And the choice was I wasn’t going to conform to Hollywood, Hollywood was going to conform to me.
“So, Hollywood conformed to me and here I am with all of you getting the Generation Award. Holy sh*t,” Johnson said.
The audience was putty in his hands.
The former WWE wrestling star opened by thanking the male dancers who came out on stage with him, before mentioning the women in his life.
“I also want to thank my family at home. My girls – I got a houseful of strong ass women,” Johnson said. “But mainly, I want to thank the ones who make this whole thing happen. I want to thank you – the people, the fans. I thank you. All of you at home, you are the reason I’m getting this, so I wanna share a really quick lesson with you guys that I’ve learned over the years.”
That lesson led to his aforementioned remarks about being who you are.
“The most powerful thing that we can be is ourselves,” he said. “I love what Zachary was saying because that’s us. We were always that little kid. We’re still that little kid. Right – just aspiring to be something better. Aspiring to be important.”
The reference to Zachary being host Zachary Levi, who introduced him.
Johnson’s entrance was quite remarkable in itself, as he danced his way on stage to Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”
“What you saw here tonight, that’s who I am. I’m proudly half-black and half-Samoan and I wanted to bring those cultures here for the world to see,” he said of the Samoan dance performance. “So yes, it’s important that you are your most authentic self.”
The Democratic House has scheduled a very important hearing on reparations this week to fight for poor, mistreated minorities like Johnson who just can’t succeed in America.
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