Dwayne Johnson Responded To Vin Diesel's Public Plea For Him To Return To "Fast & Furious" And Accused Him Of "Manipulation"

"I didn't like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker's death. Leave them out of it."

Dwayne Johnson has accused his Fast & Furious costar Vin Diesel of "manipulation" after he publicly asked Dwayne to return to the franchise despite private discussions.

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Dwayne and Vin have had a contentious relationship since 2016, when Dwayne called out his male costars in a scathing Instagram post, which has since been deleted.

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"My female co-stars are always amazing and I love 'em. My male co-stars however are a different story," he wrote on his last day of filming The Fate of the Furious. "Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don't. The ones that don't are too chicken shit to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses." 

He added: "When you watch this movie next April and it seems like I'm not acting in some of these scenes and my blood is legit boiling — you're right."

Although the pair seemed to put their differences aside, earlier this year, Dwayne revealed that the Instagram post had led to a private meeting with Vin where they clarified where they stood with each other.

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"I wouldn't call it a peaceful meeting. I would call it a meeting of clarity," Dwayne told Vanity Fair in October. "He and I had a good chat in my trailer, and it was out of that chat that it really became just crystal clear that we are two separate ends of the spectrum. And agreed to leave it there."

And then in November, Vin made a public plea for Dwayne to return to his role as Luke Hobbs for the 10th and final installment of the Fast & Furious franchise.

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"My little brother Dwayne... the time has come. The world awaits the finale of Fast 10," he wrote on Instagram. "As you know, my children refer to you as Uncle Dwayne in my house. There is not a holiday that goes by that they and you don't send well wishes... but the time has come. Legacy awaits."

"I told you years ago that I was going to fulfill my promise to Pablo," Vin went on, referring to Paul Walker. He added: "I say this out of love... but you must show up, do not leave the franchise idle you have a very important role to play. Hobbs can't be played by no other. I hope that you rise to the occasion and fulfill your destiny."

Now, Dwayne has responded to the public plea, saying he was "surprised" by Vin's post as they apparently had private discussions beforehand that confirmed he wouldn't be returning.

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"I was very surprised by Vin's recent post," he said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday. "This past June, when Vin and I actually connected not over social media, I told him directly — and privately — that I would not be returning to the franchise."

"I was firm yet cordial with my words and said that I would always be supportive of the cast and always root for the franchise to be successful, but that there was no chance I would return," he went on. "I privately spoke with my partners at Universal as well, all of whom were very supportive as they understand the problem."

Dwayne went on to accuse Vin of "manipulation" for using both his children and Paul Walker's death in an attempt to change his mind.

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"Vin's recent public post was an example of his manipulation," he said. "I didn't like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker's death. Leave them out of it. We had spoken months ago about this and came to a clear understanding."

"My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible Fast & Furious franchise with gratitude and grace," Dwayne said. "It's unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters. Regardless, I'm confident in the Fast universe and its ability to consistently deliver for the audience, and I truly wish my former co-stars and crew members the best of luck and success in the next chapter."

Dwayne previously played Luke Hobbs in four of the Fast & Furious movies, although he was notably absent from the ninth film earlier this year.

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"I've wished them well," he told the Hollywood Reporter at the time of its release. "I wish them well on Fast 9. And I wish them the best of luck on Fast 10 and Fast 11 and the rest of the Fast & Furious movies they do that will be without me."

BuzzFeed News has reached out to reps of Vin Diesel for comment. You can read Dwayne Johnson's full interview with CNN here.

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