Q: Did Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Rihanna say they feel “unsafe” under President Donald Trump, and “can’t even look at an American flag anymore”?
A: No. Those are altered versions of statements made by singer Lana Del Ray.
On July 19, online magazine Pitchfork published an interview with Lana Del Ray in which the pop singer said she feels “less safe” now than when Barack Obama was president, and that she will no longer show images of the American flag during her concerts.
“I definitely changed my visuals on my tour videos,” Del Ray told the music publication.
“I’m not going to have the American flag waving while I’m singing ‘Born to Die.’ It’s not going to happen. I’d rather have static. It’s a transitional period, and I’m super aware of that. I think it would be inappropriate to be in France with an American flag. It would feel weird to me now — it didn’t feel weird in 2013.”
However, Facebook users have flagged a number of fake news stories that have altered Del Ray’s statements and attributed them to other music artists and celebrities.
Americantoday.us published a story on July 23 with the bogus headline “Kardashians Claim They Feel ‘Unsafe’ in Trump’s America: ‘Can’t Even Look at an American Flag Anymore.'” Another post on that website wrongly attributes the same quotes to rapper Kanye West, who met with Trump during the transition period and has said that he would have voted for Trump if he voted.
And a July 27 headline on Americanpresidentdonaldj-trump.com falsely claims that it was singer and actress Rihanna who made those statements.
Readers may have noticed that something was off about the stories, which are riddled with grammatical mistakes in some cases.
For example, the story about Kim Kardashian claims that she removed the American flag from her “tour videos” and “shows and performances,” which doesn’t make sense. Kardashian is a reality TV star and businesswoman, not a concert performer.
Also, in the Kanye West version, the author didn’t even bother to change all of the feminine pronouns to masculine ones. At one point, the story says of West: “She is so traumatized with our new president that she can’t bear to look at our country’s flag any longer.”
And the headline about Rihanna isn’t supported by the body of its story, which actually says “Grammy-nominated recording artist Lana Del Rey is not a real patriot.”
Some of the sites even have disclaimers confirming that their content is unreliable.
Ushealthyadvisor.com, which also published the story about Kim Kardashian, has a disclaimer page that says: “No guarantee is given that the information provided in this Web site is correct, complete, and up-to-date.”
And the Americantoday.us terms and conditions page says: “The information and all other materials on this site are provided for general information purposes only and do not constitute professional advice. It is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy and completeness of all information available on this site or any website with which it is linked.”
Updated, Sept. 8: Singer Celine Dion is the latest to be misquoted as saying that she “can’t even look at an American flag anymore.” We counted at least seven websites that have misattributed the bogus quote to her.
Frank, Alex. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: A Conversation With Lana Del Rey.” Pitchfork.com. 19 Jul 2017.
Hughes, Hillary. “Lana Del Rey Won’t Be Singing In Front Of An American Flag Anytime Soon.” MTV.com. 19 Jul 2017.
Stutz, Colin. “Lana Del Rey Is Ditching Her American Flag Visuals Because of Trump.” Billboard.com. 19 Jul 2017.
“Kardashians Claim They Feel ‘Unsafe’ in Trump’s America: ‘Can’t Even Look at an American Flag Anymore.’” Americantoday.us. 23 Jul 2017.
“Kardashians Claim They Feel ‘Unsafe’ in Trump’s America: ‘Can’t Even Look at an American Flag Anymore.’” Ushealthyadvisor.com. 24 Jul 2017.
“Kanye West Claim He Feels ‘Unsafe’ in Trump’s America: ‘Can’t Even Look at an American Flag Anymore.’” Americantoday.us. 25 Jul 2017.
Zaru, Deena and Tal Kopan. “Kanye West meets with Donald Trump at Trump Tower.” Cnn.com. 14 Dec 2016.
Deerwester, Jayme. “Kanye West: ‘I would have voted for Trump — if I voted.‘” USA Today. 18 Nov 2016.
Swallow. “BREAKING: Rihanna Bans American Flag From Concerts, Says : I Cant Even Look At It While Trump’s President”. How Would You Respond This?” Americanpresidentdonaldj-trump.com. 27 Jul 2017.
“Disclaimer.” Ushealthyadvisor.com. Accessed 31 Jul 2017.
“Terms And Conditions.” Americantoday.us. Acccessed 31 Jul 2017.