France’s Musée Grévin took Dwayne Johnson‘s comments and social media outcry over the star’s botched wax figure to heart. Within 24 hours, his figure was updated by artists who gave it a slightly darker skin tone with meticulous strokes of oil painting. Johnson’s suburban dad-esque outfit, however, has remained.
“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 PR who 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.
“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. “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 revealed 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 her thoughts on accusations of the museum “white washing” Johnson’s figure, she said it didn’t cross anyone’s minds. “This has nothing do with it — we just made an honest mistake based on the photos we looked at,” she said. “After we saw all these reactions on different blogs and social networks, we changed it immediately.”
Johnson’s wax figure made his debut at the Grévin Museum a week ago after the “Fast & Furious” actor won the inaugural Grévin Awards by a landslide. The prize is voted on by fans who choose their favorite pop culture icon for the museum to immortalize in wax.
But as reported by, the light-skinned wax figure sparked uproar among Johnson’s fans and drew comparisons to Mr. Clean. It took a video from comedian James Andre Jefferson Jr. comparing him to David Beckham to prompt a reaction from Johnson, who announced on Instagram that his team would be reaching out to the Paris museum.
“You know Black ass Samoan The Rock? That’s how Paris thinks he looks,” Jefferson Jr. says in the video. “They turned The Rock into a pebble!… it looks like The Rock has never seen the sun a day in his life… You make the rock look like he David Beckham. It looks like The Rock is going to be a part of the royal family. Did y’all even Google him?”
Along with reposting Jefferson Jr.’s video,that he wanted the Grévin to work on “‘updating’ my wax figure here with some important details and improvements — starting with my skin color.” However, Johnson didn’t seem too miffed about it, saying he’d stop by the museum for a drink the next time he’s in Paris.
See the updated version of Johnson’s figure below.
Veronique Berecz fixing the outfit of Johnson’s wax figure at the Musée Grevin in Paris.