AI-generated images used to claim actor Dwayne Johnson performed Hindu Aarti

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
May 31 2023

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AI-generated images used to claim actor Dwayne Johnson performed Hindu Aarti


The Verdict False

Johnson's images as a Hindu priest and offering prayers were created by an Ahmedabad-based photographer. The actor also has not converted to Hinduism.

Claim ID aa4b4f04

Viral images on social media depict Hollywood actor and former professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson, more popularly known as 'The Rock,' dressed as a Hindu priest inside a temple, engaging in religious rituals. Numerous users have shared this image, falsely claiming that the actor performed an 'Aarti (Hindu ritual)' along other Hindu religious traditions. One Twitter user shared the image with a caption saying Hinduism is the eternal truth. The tweet received over 430,000 views. Posts with Hindi captions claiming that the action hero Rock has embraced Sanatan Dharma or Hinduism have also been widely shared.

In Fact
Our research did not uncover any news reports or social media posts by Johnson regarding his conversion to Hinduism or sharing photos of himself engaging in Hindu rituals.

Upon careful examination of the image, we discovered notable discrepancies when comparing the viral photo with a picture Johnson personally shared on Instagram on March 25, 2023. In his Instagram photo, intricate tattoos are prominently displayed on his arms and chest, with the left arm tattoo extending to his neck. Among the viral images, however, only one photo showcases a tattoo on the arm. However, upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that the tattoo differs from the original. Additionally, all other images completely lack any trace of Johnson’s distinctive tattoos.

Moreover, viral images exhibit discernible characteristics frequently found in AI-generated images. In the photos, the background shows irregularities and incorporates a bokeh-like effect that blurs the surrounding details. It is worth noting that modern AI models often encounter difficulties producing hyper-realistic backgrounds with accurate details.

In one of the viral tweets, an Ahmedabad-based photographer named Bhargav Valera was identified as the person behind these images. He had shared the same pictures on Facebook, explicitly mentioning that they were generated using an AI tool. Valera posted three AI-generated photos of Dwayne Johnson in April 2023, accompanied by the caption, "Dwayne Johnson as a Sadhu worshipping in mandir @therock. How is it? AI concept art #ai #aiart #aipictures #aicommunity.” Logically Facts also reached out to Valera, who confirmed that he is the creator of the viral photos featuring Johnson.

The Verdict
The viral images of Dwayne Johnson as a Hindu priest inside a temple, offering prayers, were created using AI by Ahmedabad-based photographer Bhargav Valera. Social media posts claiming The Rock has embraced Hinduism are false.

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