After watching five-year-old Angelou Brown’s video letter, American-Canadian actor Dwayne Johnson, whom Angelou addressed as “Mr Rock,” had to take a moment:
“Just watched and this one just sat me down 😢🖤💪🏾,” Johnson wrote, in an Instagram caption accompanying the child’s video, which has already racked up more than 10 million views.
See the heartbreaking video post below:
Angelou sent his video, from Christchurch, New Zealand, where he lives, because he wanted Johnson to help spread a message on behalf of his father.
“My dad is Samoan, so I’m pretty sure he’s your cousin,” said Angelou. “And since you’re part of the aiga [the Samoan word for family], I thought I’d send you a gift.”
That gift was a T-shirt ― which appears in the video to be XXXL to accommodate the Rock’s Hulk-like physique. It was created by Angelou’s father, Matt Brown, and bears the words “She is not your rehab.”
“It’s a T-shirt my dad and my uncles wear to encourage other men to treat girls well,” explained the little boy.
Angelou went on to share the story of his grandmother, who “had a sad life” with “lots of fights” and had to “go away lots to many refuges.”
Witnessing this domestic violence growing up, and being a survivor of child sexual abuse, Angelou’s father made it his mission to educate other men about the traumatic impact of abusive behaviours, according to the She Is Not Your Rehab website.
A barber by trade, Matt used the barbershop as a place to reach other men. It’s an environment where men often feel safe enough to open up.
“He shares his story with the men who frequent his busy Christchurch and Palmerston North barbershops, My Fathers Barbers, as a way to foster vulnerability, healing, and connection,” his website explains.
Matt also runs a barbering program inside Christchurch Men’s Prison, Te Puna Wai O Tuhinapo, and a Christchurch youth justice facility, where he is able to connect with some of the most vulnerable men in society and help them discuss and redefine harmful stereotypes around masculinity.
Angelou told the Rock he believed that if he were to support Matt’s cause, he could have a big impact. “I think you are the strongest man on the planet that many men look up to,” the child explained. “If you wear this T-shirt, then I think they will listen to you.”
Moved, Johnson responded in his caption:
“I admire your father, greatly for standing up and creating @sheisnotyourrehab. And to make sure his mom — your Nana — will never be forgotten. Encouraging men all over the world to treat our women with respect, love and most importantly, violence free.”
Johnson has promised Angelou that his office will be in touch with his family. We hope to see him donning Matt’s T-shirt and spreading its important message in future posts. He’s family now, after all. The retired wrestler ended his open letter to Angelou, “All our alofa [love], Uncle Rock and our aiga.”
Watch: The Rock Opened Up About His Facial Injury And How It Happened