The Rock and CNN’s Oliver Darcy Spar Over Actor’s Dinner With Saudi Crown Prince


When Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman embarked on a tour of the United States earlier this year, he was met with a gushing welcome.

At the time, the myth that the young prince was the kingdom’s grand “reformer” was at its peak, and M.B.S. was even treated to a dinner with American superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at Rupert Murdoch‘s home in Los Angeles.

Johnson even touted the encounter in a strange Instagram post, calling it a “historic night.”

“An historic night it was. A pleasure to have a private dinner with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, his royal family and distinguished cadre,” Johnson wrote. “Fascinating experience to hear his deep rooted, yet modern views on the world and certainly the positive growth he desires for his country.”

In light of the murder of Saudi writer and dissident Jamal Khashoggi by a team of 15 Saudi agents, CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy noted Johnson’s Instagram post “did not age well,” adding that he reached out to the actor’s publicist but had not heard back.

Johnson fired back with a tweet of his own, calling Darcy’s point “a silly, clickbait post.”

“Im surprised you’d post this,” Johnson said. “Go back and really read my words. I listened and learned then. As I listen and learn now. C’mon man.”

Darcy replied, pointing out that Johnson “had dinner with a brutal authoritarian, playing a role in his PR campaign to convince the West that he was, as you’d say, someone with ‘modern views.'”

“Then you gushed about it on social media,” Darcy added, before asking: “Do you regret giving him a platform? Has your opinion changed?”

We will keep this post updated with whatever The Rock is cooking.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor in Chief of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin