Jumanji actor Dwayne Johnson added his voice to the Black Lives Matter movement on Thursday with a heartfelt video message in which he called for strong leadership and sent out a plea to "normalize equality."
"In this moment right now, this defining, pivotal, explosive moment where our country is down on its knees — the floorboards of our country are becoming unhinged in this moment — we must say the words: Black Lives Matter," Johnson said, in the wake of searing national protests following the death of George Floyd while in custody by Minnesota police.
Although he does not mention President Donald Trump by name, throughout his message the actor firmly appeals for compassionate, moral leadership, repeatedly asking: "Where are you?"
"As we continue to wait for that leader to emerge, I recommend to all of you that we must become the leaders we're looking for, we become our own leaders. Because we're doing it now," he added.
Johnson also decried acts of looting and voiced his disdain for using military action against peaceful protestors. Instead, the actor suggested, those in positions of power should listen to voices raised in unison, and promise real change.
"You'd be surprised how people in pain would respond when you say to them, 'I care about you,'" he explained. "When you say to them, 'I'm listening to you.' You'd be surprised how people would respond, how Americans would respond when you say to them, 'I care about you, I'm listening to you. This is our country, you are all my people, and I take full responsibility and full accountability for something that has been hundreds of years of systemic disease. Why am I taking full accountability? Because I am your leader, and I'm gonna do everything I can to make this right. And I'll tell you what, you give me some trust, you give me some time, you give me some effort, you give me some love. I'm right there with you, and together we're gonna make this right.'"
The actor joins a chorus of voices — on social media, on the streets, in the national conversation — calling for decisive, sustainable change and action as protests stretch into their second week across U.S. cities.