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Tabloid quoted actor Dwayne Johnson as saying millennials are ‘putting us backwards’

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has claimed the Daily Star fabricated a front-page story in which the film star appeared to criticise millennials as “snowflakes”.
The story, which appeared on Friday’s front page under the headline “The Rock Smacks Down Snowflakes” and was billed as an exclusive, was picked up by news outlets around the world.
The Daily Star piece implied the film star was offended by various incidents in the UK, such as the University of Manchester student union discouraging students from clapping in meetings and claims that a a bakery had renamed gingerbread men “gingerbread people”.
The Star, which used the piece to assert that “the UK is mourning the death of comedy due to humourless crowds demanding no risky jokes”, also said Johnson believed “whining snowflakes are draining positive change through their constant moaning”.
It quoted the actor as allegedly saying that “generation snowflake or, whatever you want to call them, are actually putting us backwards” and “if you are not agreeing with them then they are offended – and that is not what so many great men and women fought for”.
However, Johnson, a former wrestler who has become one of the world’s biggest film stars, used an Instagram video to insist the quotes were fake.
“The interview never took place, never happened, never said any of those words, completely untrue, 100% fabricated, I was quite baffled when I woke up this morning,” he said.
“You know it’s not a real DJ [Dwayne Johnson] interview if I’m insulting a group, a generation or anyone, because that’s not me.”
The Daily Star is overseen by the Independent Press Standards Organisation, meaning Johnson could make an accuracy complaint to the press regulator. Last year the newspaper was sold to Reach PLC, which also owns the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror.
The Daily Star has yet to comment on whether the interview was fabricated, but has now taken it offline.
Staff at the newspaper suggested the supposed interview was provided to the Daily Star by a freelance journalist and then written up by the staff reporter whose byline appeared on the piece.
The unnamed freelance reporter is thought to be abroad and not responding to messages.

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