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Who the Rock's social media diss was really targeted at

The Rock is throwing stones. 

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson recently took to Instagram to discuss the box office performance of his latest flick, Hobbs & Shaw. The first-ever spin-off film in the Fast and Furious franchise, Hobbs & Shaw has earned $740.9 million worldwide, drawing audiences in with its high-octane action and story that unites long-standing frenemies Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw. 

The film has clearly made beaucoup bucks at the box office — something Johnson pointed out in his social media post. In doing so, however, Johnson also fired shots at someone in the caption of the photo, which was a screenshot of Deadline article confirming Hobbs & Shaw is currently the best-earning non-superhero (and non-Disney) movie of the year. 

"Assassins quietly play chess loud clowns play checkers. Thank you audiences worldwide for this incredible support and massive win. Very cool and we're grateful for the love," the actor wrote, adding a hashtag that implied he and his co-star Jason Statham, the Shaw to his Hobbs, were the "hardest workers in the room." (That hashtag is self-referential, as Johnson has repeatedly said he likes to be the hardest-working person in any room.) Johnson also hashtagged the post with "#hungryhumble" and "#nocandya**es," replacing the "e" with a clown emoji.

Johnson's obviously unimpressed with someone and is calling them out on what he deems is clownish behavior. But who exactly is the receiving end of his social media diss? 

That would be none other than Tyrese Gibson, a Fast and Furious franchise mainstay with whom Johnson has been engaged in a drawn-out and often dramatic feud.

How the feud between Dwayne Johnson and Tyrese Gibson began

Their beef started back when Hobbs & Shaw was just a twinkle in the eyes of Fast and Furious franchise executives — and when Johnson and his producing partner Hiram Garcia, who has backed the majority of Johnson's recent films and worked as a consulting producer on Furious 7, were putting plans for the spin-off in place. 

When Hobbs & Shaw was really starting to take shape, Johnson was apparently faced with a decision: go forward with that film, or prioritize the ninth Fast and Furious movie, originally slated to hit theaters on April 19, 2019. Ultimately, Johnson hopped on Hobbs & Shaw, and it wasn't long after the official announcement dropped that Fast 9 was pushed back by almost a year, moving to an April 10, 2020 release date. Johnson later noted that he wouldn't appear in Fast and Furious 9 at all.

It was an outcome that Gibson, who has played Roman Pearce in the film series since 2011's Fast Five, had desperately hoped wouldn't happen. Gibson publicly begged Johnson not to move ahead with Hobbs & Shaw, which he was certain would cause problems for the ninth Fast and Furious movie before the delay even happened. 

"If you move forward with that Hobbs movie, you will have purposely ignored the heart to heart moment we had in my sprinter. I don't wanna hear from you until you remember what we talked about. I'm on your timeline cause you're not responding to my text messages. Fast family is just that, a family. We don't fly solo," Gibson wrote on Instagram. "The Fast 9 release date has already been announced and we can't let our loyal fans or our loyal Fast and Furious fans down on any level from pushing the date… Didn't you see how HUGE [The Fate of the Furious] was? It's because we announced and KEPT our release date bro."

Hobbs & Shaw vs. Fast and Furious 9

We all know what ended up happening: Johnson chose Hobbs & Shaw, and Fast 9 got delayed. Once the reality of the situation sank in, tensions between Gibson and Johnson continued to flare. Gibson blamed Johnson for the Fast 9 delay, slamming him as greedy and self-centered in an Instagram post that reads, "Congratulations to The Rock and your brother-in-law aka 7 bucks producing partner [Hiram Garcia] for making the Fast and the Furious franchise about YOU … Fast family, right? Nah. It's about Team Dwayne."

Thereafter, Gibson again openly dissed Johnson, accusing him of using steroids and placing blame on the actor for making the personal troubles he was dealing with even worse. By Gibson's own admission, he was upset that Johnson went through with Hobbs & Shaw and turned his back on Fast and Furious 9 without stopping to think about how the film's delay would affect the people involved, particularly in terms of their finances. At the time, Gibson called Johnson a clown and a "candy a** b****" – two things Johnson referenced in his recent social media post. Clearly, Johnson's hashtag and clown emoji were a direct clap-back at Gibson. 

Money talks, and so does Tyrese Gibson

Another reason we know Johnson's diss is targeted at Gibson? The fact that Gibson previously brought up Hobbs & Shaw's financial performance in an Instagram post of his own. 

In early August 2019, just a few days after Hobbs & Shaw opened in theaters on August 2, Gibson posted a screenshot of a news article that noted the film had posted the lowest opening weekend for a Fast and Furious franchise entry since the 2006 launch of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. The now-deleted post featured a caption that read in part, "Breaking up the family clearly doesn't have the value that one would assume it does … #FastFamily has more value as the #FastFamily … 180 million dollar global opening on Hobbs and Shaw is NOT a win."

At this point, it truly doesn't seem like the back-and-forth bickering between Gibson and Johnson will stop any time soon. With Johnson out of Fast and Furious 9, at least the pair can avoid some potentially painfully awkward days on set. And maybe, just maybe, they can put their arguing to rest when the ninth franchise film finally gets its time in the sun.