Tyrese Gibson and the Rock's 'candy-ass' feud: What you need to know

Taryn Ryder
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle
The Rock and Tyrese Gibson look chummy at the Furious 7 premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on April 1, 2015. (Photo: Getty Images)

We’d like to petition to have “candy-ass” be included on the list of top pop culture terms of 2017. If you’re not up on its meaning, a quick search will tell you it’s a noun defined as “a timid, cowardly, or despicable person” — and it’s being thrown around a lot in the Fast & Furious feud between Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and Tyrese Gibson.

If you are scratching your head as to why the two actors are calling each other candy-asses, let us help you get up to speed…

The Rock got this whole thing going when voicing frustration with his Fast family in August 2016. “There’s no other franchise that gets my blood boiling more than this one. An incredibly hard-working crew. Universal Studios Entertainment has been great partners as well. My female co-stars are always amazing, and I love ’em,” he began. “My male co-workers, however, are a different story. Some conduct themselves as standup men and true professionals, while others don’t. The ones that don’t are too chicken s**t to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses.”

Speculation immediately began as to which members of the Fast 8 crew the rant was about, and Tyrese wanted to make it clear that he wasn’t the subject. Gibson posted a video of the Rock singing happy birthday to his daughter, Shayla, calling him his “brother,” adding the two have “NEVER had a problem and will never have a problem” with each other. “WE are good over here….As a cast we’re ALL married dammit!!” he added.

How things can change, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Turns out, the rant was about Vin Diesel, who brushed off the disagreement as a spat between “two alphas” that was blown out of proportion in the press. Diesel told USA Today, “I don’t think that was [Johnson’s] intention. I know he appreciates how much I work this franchise. In my house, he’s Uncle Dwayne.”

Still, the Rock had no regrets about throwing out the candy-ass term. “I was very clear with what I said. I’ve been in the game a long time,” Johnson told the Los Angeles Times months later. “Would Universal [Pictures] have preferred that didn’t happen? Sure, we talked about it. The irony is after that, and as they do their tracking and all their analysis, the interest [in the film] shot through the roof to a whole other level.”

If that worked for Fast 8, then there is sure to be a lot of interest in the ninth installment. Nearly a year after the initial fight, Tyrese came in, guns blazing, for his “brother.”

After news broke that a Fast spinoff was in the works for Johnson, who plays Hobbs, Jason Statham, and Charlize Theron, Tyrese left a since-deleted comment on the Rock’s Instagram page asking him not to do the film.

“If you move forward with that #Hobbs Movie you will have purposely ignored the heart to heart moment we had in my sprinter,” he wrote. “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 – #FastFamily is just that a family… We don’t fly solo.”

Gibson continued, “I’m simply trying to reach him cause he won’t call me back about this solo #HobbsMovie  I want you to shoot it just not right now cause the #Fast9 release date has already been announced and we can’t let our loyal fans #FastFamily or our loyal fast and furious FANS down on any level from pushing the date…….. Didn’t you see how HUGE #Fast8 was? It’s because we announced and KEPT our release date bro.”

Gibson apparently deleted his comment after the Rock called him, but whatever was said didn’t ease the tension, and the drama was far from over. The next installment of Fast and Furious was due in April 2019 … until it wasn’t. Universal announced it would be pushed to April 2020, while the spinoff would hit theaters first, in the summer of 2019. Neither Johnson nor Statham were officially signed on at this point.

Despite the fact Johnson hadn’t agreed to anything yet, Tyrese took to Instagram yet again to slam the Rock for being selfish and to diss the former wrestler’s box-office bust Baywatch.

The rants continued, with Tyrese alleging that the Rock couldn’t share the spotlight with his co-stars. He also claimed the late Paul Walker and Diesel turned down offers for spinoffs and called on Johnson to do the same.

Days later, Johnson confirmed he would star in the spinoff.

“Huge shout to my brother, Jason Statham for the trust and wanting to create and deliver something fresh and bad ass for the fans,” Johnson shared on Instagram. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for this franchise that I’ve enjoyed droppin’ blood and sweat in over the years and my vision is to create greater opportunities for not only my fellow FF cast mates, but for other amazing actors as well who want to be a part of something new and cool. I want to use my spinoff platform to create new characters that fans will ultimately love to have fun with in multiple chapters and platforms.”

Johnson closed his post with hashtags including, #NewOpportunities” and “#CandyAssesNeedNotApply.”

Oh, but the candy-ass hashtags aren’t over yet. On Tuesday, Tyrese took to Instagram to announce that if “#CandyAssBitchMade” the Rock was in Fast 9, then he would not reprise his role as Roman Pearce. In a post alongside a photo with Diesel and Johnson, Gibson seemed to be blaming Johnson for his family’s financial situation, presumably because the postponement of Fast 9, let alone forcing Gibson to drop out of it, would be putting a big dent in Gibson’s income. “You mess with family and my daughters survival I mess with yours……… close your eyes dude you’re a ‘Clown’…… #CandyAssBitchMade All my real one,” he exclaimed.

Gibson posted another photo on Instagram where he appeared to crop out Johnson, in a black suit, and his daughter, Shayla, who was standing below him. He captioned the picture, “Cropped #ShaylaRocks the real #CandyAssIsWearingBlack.”

Gibson is involved in a bitter custody battle over his 10-year-old daughter. In court documents, his ex-wife, Norma Mitchell Gibson, accused the actor of abusing Shayla on Aug. 19, alleging hepushed our daughter to the ground, pinned her face down, put his knees on her back, grabbed her hands with one arm and beat her with the other.”

“Don’t take my baby. This is all I got. Don’t take my baby, OK?” Gibson sobbed in an emotional video he also posted this week. “I’ve been away from my baby for two months. I just want my baby and no one’s listening cause no one’s in the courtroom.”

He continued, “I’m at $13,000 a month, what more do you want from me?” — an apparent reference to the child support he’s been paying. “I don’t hate you Norma. I don’t know why you hate me, but I don’t hate you. But you just can’t wake up on September 11th and accuse me of something I didn’t do!”

The Rock has yet to weigh in on Gibson’s latest “candy-ass” rants or custody dispute, but it seems the feud is quickly becoming one-sided.

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