It appears Dwayne Johnson has upset some of his fans. In fact, on Sunday, many were outraged because the wrestler-turned-actor posted pictures of himself and his family visiting at the Georgia Aquarium.
Of course, the pictures — which were posted on Instagram — seemed benign. The first showed Johnson and his children peering into a tank of whale sharks. The second showed him shaking hands with a beluga, and the third showed Johnson standing with (and smiling down on) a sea lion. What’s more, in one of the photos, Johnson explained that he was humbled and “in awe” of the Georgia Aquarium.
“[This is] the second largest aquarium in the world and the only institution outside of Asia that houses Whale Sharks. More than 100,000 animals and sea creatures here that I’m in constant awe of,” Johnson wrote. He then went on to thank the “President & COO, Joseph Handy & the entire Georgia Aquarium staff for being so gracious, kind & informative” to his family and friends.
However, animal rights advocates were furious, accusing Johnson of supporting animal abuse. One user wrote that Johnson (and his followers) should not “support any kind of businesses that retain wild animals from their freedom to entertain people.” Another wrote that facilities like zoos and aquariums are inhumane, and a third user condemned Johnson for “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. This,” he wrote, “is animal abuse.”
Of course, these comments — and others like them — have caused Johnson’s Instagram page to become something of a war ground (one which has devolved from an ethical argument into one which contains name-calling and personal attacks).
Johnson has not responded to any of the criticism, and it remains unclear whether he will.