Q: Did Hollywood celebrities threaten to strike until President Donald Trump resigns?
A: No. That story was made up by a “HYBRID site of news and satire.”
Are eminent Hollywood celebrities preparing for a massive strike in Hollywood until Trump resigns?
Months after it first appeared online, Facebook users are still encountering a fake news story that says “Hollywood celebrities … are calling for an all-out strike that would span the entire movie industry in the hopes that such a move would urge” President Donald Trump to resign.
The bogus story claims that a spokesperson for a group called “Refuse Racism” told the New York Times that, “we’re calling for a general strike that would include every single person involved in making motion pictures in Hollywood, starting with the actors and celebrities themselves and encompassing companies in charge of making props, movie memorabilia and even souvenir shops.”
Facebook users have recently reported a version of the hoax that was published on PatriotHangout.com. But it originated in January at TheRightists.com, a “HYBRID site of news and satire.” The website says on its “about us” page that “part of our stories already happens [sic], part, not yet. NOT all of our stories are true!”
In this case, TheRightists.com based its fake story on a Breitbart.com article about a protest of then President-elect Trump that was supported by TV and film stars and activists.
Breitbart.com, Jan. 5: Rosie O’Donnell, Debra Messing, Ed Asner and Michael Shannon are among the dozens of artists, entertainers, and activists who have attached their names to an effort calling for a month-long protest to stop President-elect Donald Trump.
“No! In the Name of Humanity We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America!” reads a full-page ad placed in the New York Times on Wednesday by the group Refuse Fascism.
“Donald Trump, the President-elect, is assembling a regime of grave danger,” the ad says. “Millions of people in the US and around the world are filled with deep anxiety, fear, and disgust. Our anguish is right and just. Our anger must now become massive resistance — before Donald Trump is inaugurated and has the full reins of power in his hands.”
That was all included in the version published by TheRightists.com, although the group’s name was changed from “Refuse Fascism” to “Refuse Racism.”
From there, the news and satire hybrid goes on to fabricate details about a Hollywood strike.
TheRightists.com, Jan. 6: Asked to elaborate on why the group is targeting Hollywood out of all the industries in the country as their bargaining chip, the spokesperson argued that Hollywood “is, simply put, the base of the entire modern American culture. It is the foundation of the country, so to speak, the glue that’s holding it together. And think about what happens when you destroy the foundation of a house. It comes crashing down, right? Well, that’s exactly what’s going to happen to America unless Donald Trump realizes how real the danger of that actually is, and chooses to step down as President of his own free will. And while we’re on the subject, between you and me – nobody wants Hollywood to stop doing its thing, but this is a necessary move.”
“Besides, it’s not like the billionaire-businessman-turned-president hasn’t ventured into movies in his day, right? So, he’ll understand firsthand what’s going to happen if Hollywood goes to strike. Without the work of Hollywood and the lifestyle promoted by it, there will literally be no more America to rule for Trump. So, in effect, it’s not us that are going to force Donald Trump to resign his office; it’s the people of America who are going to make him do it, because the God’s honest truth is – without Hollywood, there is no America. It’s like trying to run Nazi Germany without Hitler at the forefront – it just becomes pointless,” the spokesperson concluded.
As Breitbart.com reported, the ad from RefuseFascism.org only called for “a month of resistance that reaches a crescendo” before Trump’s inauguration as president. It encouraged “each and every one who opposes what this regime stands for, and what it will do, to take part in and actively build, this resistance and refusal.”
The latest version of the hoax from PatriotHangout.com changes Trump’s title from president-elect to president, but otherwise recycles the same story from early January. That is a common tactic that we see from sites that pass along fake news stories.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to help identify and label viral fake news stories flagged by readers on the social media network.
PatriotHangout.com. “Celebrities Just Called For A TOTAL HOLLYWOOD STRIKE UNLESS TRUMP … .” Accessed 22 May 2017.
Eli The. “Celebrities Call For A Massive, All-Round Strike In Hollywood ‘Until The Fascist Trump Resigns.’ ” TheRightists.com. 5 Jan 2017.
Dmitry, Baxter. “Celebrities Call For ‘Total Hollywood Strike’ Until Trump Resigns.” YourNewsWire.com. 9 Jan 2017.
Hudson, Jerome. “Celebrities Call for ‘Month of Resistance’ to Fight ‘Fascist’ Trump.” Breitbart.com. 5 Jan 2017.
Johnson, Ted. “Rosie O’Donnell, Debra Messing Among Celebrities Signing Anti-Trump ‘Fascist’ Warning.” Variety. 4 Jan 2017.
RefuseFascism.org. “No! In the Name of Humanity We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America!” Advertisement. 4 Jan 2017.