Fake News: Actor Will Smith Did NOT Say: "I'm Not Afraid to Say That Trump And His Supporters are Ba..."

Hoax Alert

  • by: Ryan Cooper
Fake News: Actor Will Smith Did NOT Say: "I'm Not Afraid to Say That Trump And His Supporters are Ba..."

Did actor Will Smith say, "I'm not afraid to say that Trump and his supporters are ba..."? No, that's not true: Smith never made such a statement, though the story contains real quotes taken out of context from a 2016 Australian interview.

The claim originated from an article (archived here) published by magnanewspapers.com on November 3, 2019, under the title "ACTOR WILL SMITH: 'I'M NOT AFRAID TO SAY THAT TRUMP AND HIS SUPPORTERS ARE BA..." It opened:

POLARIZING IMPACT OF DONALD TRUMP AND HIS LARGE NUMBER OF INCREDIBLE PROCLAMATIONS HAS HIT HOLLYWOOD HARD.

Wіll Smіth unmіѕtаkаblу саn't ѕtаnd оur President, so he communicated to a grеаt dеgrее sickening thіngѕ about hіm:"Fоr a man tо hаvе the аbіlіtу tо ѕtrаіghtfоrwаrdlу insinuate a wоmаn as a fаt ріg, thаt mаkеѕ me mіѕеrаblе.

Lіkеwіѕе, fоr реорlе tо approval, thаt is аbѕоlutеlу f**king frаntісnеѕѕ tо me," an еnеrgеtіс Smith told nеwѕ.соm.аu whіlе pushing Suісіdе Sԛuаd."Mу grandmother would hаvе ѕmасkеd mу teeth оut of mу tаkе іn case I hаd іnѕіnuаtеd a wоmаn as a fаt pig."

Users on social media may have seen this this title, description and thumbnail:

The headline of the story, which has been copied and shared for almost two years, is incomplete. Is "ba..." short for bad? Bastards? Something else?

Regardless, this is an example of "article spinning," in which writers or websites republish existing material - often verbatim - to create the impression that it is new content.

In 2016, while promoting the movie "Suicide Squad," Smith gave an interview to news.com.au, an Australian news and entertainment site. The story published several quotes about Smith's views on U.S. President Donald Trump, including his anger over Trump's comments about women.

The article was published on August 3, 2016, a little more than three months before Trump was elected president.

Ever since, various websites have pulled quotes from the article to give the impression the actor just made the comments. The new stories lack the context and framing of the original article.

The headline is also false. There is no known record of Smith having said, "I'm not afraid to say that Trump and his supporters...." The closest quote bearing any similarity is an oft-quoted saying from Smith to describe his work ethic:

I'm not afraid to die on a treadmill."

The headline quote is never referenced again in the article, so it is unclear exactly what the authors are trying to claim he said.

We wrote about magnanewspapers.com before. Here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper, a staff writer and fact-checker for Lead Stories, is the former Director of Programming at CNN International, where he helped shape the network's daily newscasts broadcast to more than 280 million households around the world. He was based at the network's Los Angeles Bureau. There, he managed the team responsible for a three-hour nightly program, Newsroom LA.

Formerly, he worked at the headquarters in Atlanta, and he spent four years at the London bureau. An award-winning producer, Cooper oversaw the network's Emmy Award-winning coverage of the uprising in Egypt in 2011. He also served as a supervising producer during much of the network's live reporting on the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in 2006, for which CNN received an Edward R. Murrow Award.

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