PARIS: A French museum said yesterday it is working urgently to fix a much-derided waxwork of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson after the US actor complained about its pale skin tone.
Johnson, who is of Samoan and Black origin, took to Instagram this weekend to joke about the Grevin Museum’s botched wax figure, which appeared to depict him with white skin, and bears only a vague likeness to his features.
“For the record, I’m going to have my team reach out to our friends at Grevin Museum, in Paris, France, so we can work at ‘updating’ my wax figure here with some important details and improvements – starting with my skin color,” wrote Johnson, best known by his stage name “The Rock”.
Yesterday, the museum told AFP that staff were “reworking” the wax figure, and that an updated version would be reinstalled by this morning, Paris time.
“They’re going to work all night on it so that it’s more in line with fans’ expectations,” museum director Yves Delhommeau said in a statement. “Crews will work through the night to ensure the likeness is more in keeping with the expectations of his fans.
“We’re also going to reconfigure the lighting because there was a lighting issue that was having the effect of lightening his skin.”
Johnson “will come see us later on to see if there are other modifications that need to be made”, Delhommeau added.
The figure of Johnson was unveiled on social media last week by the Grevin Museum, which draws nearly 800,000 visitors a year. But a photo intended to promote the new statue drew an outcry from Johnson’s fans, ranging from bemusement to anger.
The figure looked like an “Eastern European plumber”, one commenter said, while another wrote: “Why would you white-wax him?”
Comedian James Andre Jefferson Jr released an online video mocking the statue, prompting Johnson to respond. In the video, Jefferson said The Rock was being made to look like former England soccer star David Beckham, or “part of the Royal family”.
“I’m low-key offended,” said Jefferson.
In 2018, the museum drew similar mockery for an unflattering figure of French president Emmanuel Macron. Producing a Grevin sculpture takes six months and costs €50,000 (RM255,000) to €60,000.