Others, weren’t so forgiving of Johnson’s to assume the role.
Historically, John Henry’s always been depicted as having a *very* dark skin complexion and while Dwayne Johnson is undeniably a black man, this is all quite 🧐🧐🧐.— Anathema BYOD (@CharlesPulliam) October 9, 2018
I’m legitimately curious who the target audience for this movie is meant to be.
Writer and culture critic, Robert Jones, Jr. had a more nuanced approach to Johnson’s decision, choosing instead to highlight the tragedy of John Henry’s ultimate fate. “I’m less concerned w/ Dwayne Johnson performing the voice of John Henry and more concerned with the story itself,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “A Black man who dies from stress while proving he can beat a machine sounds like just the kind of propaganda used to justify treating Black people as work horses.” In addition to starring in John Henry and the Statesmen, Johnson will serve as a producer on the project. He said the film, which will reportedly include folk heroes from multiple cultures, will appeal to audiences who are hungry for diverse narratives. “These diverse characters speak to a legacy of storytelling that is more relevant than ever,” Johnson said, “and span across a worldwide audience regardless of age, gender, race, or geography.” We’ll be watching!
Is he playing John Henry? Like he's ready to claim his blackness for a minute because it's convenient? https://t.co/JBHtZRznb4— 🎃 🦇 🧛🏾♀️ 𝓑𝕝ᵉ𝒆𝐃 丨ᶰ ς𝓞𝕃𝑜ⓊŘ 🧛🏾♀️🦇 🎃 (@ReadInColour) October 9, 2018