Did celebrities call for a "total Hollywood strike" until everyone is vaccinated against COVID-19? No, that's not true: The claim, posted by a prolific publisher of fake news, is based on a fake tweet purportedly from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. An Academy representative told Lead Stories it is not their tweet.
The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by NewsPunch on January 31, 2023. Titled "Celebrities Call For 'Total Hollywood Strike' Until Every Last Person Gets Jabbed," the article opened:
A group of liberal Hollywood celebrities are threatening a 'massive, all-round Hollywood strike' until every last one of us is vaccinated. Describing Hollywood as 'the base of the entire modern American culture', the group also claims to be speaking on behalf of 'humanity's better nature.'
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Celebrities Call For 'Total Hollywood Strike' Until Every Last Person Gets Jabbed - News Punch
A group of liberal Hollywood celebrities are threatening a "massive, all-round Hollywood strike" until every last one of us is vaccinated.
The article was topped with a collage of images, including what looked to be a tweet from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, otherwise known as the Academy. The Academy hosts the Oscars each year. Its purported tweet read:
We support Hollywood striking until EVERYONE is vaccinated.
Lead Stories searched the Academy's official Twitter page and could find no record of such a tweet. We also reached out to the Academy to ask about the claim. Via email, on February 1, 2023, a representative responded that the tweet was not an Academy tweet.
The NewsPunch article continued by quoting an unnamed spokesperson as saying:
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.
The quote is noteworthy because it is -- word for word -- identical to a quote from a spokesperson in a previously debunked story that claimed Hollywood celebrities were threatening to strike unless then-President Donald Trump resigned.
The threat of a "Hollywood strike" is a recycled fake news trope that's been around since at least 2017. It's been widely debunked, as can be seen here and here.
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You can read other Lead Stories debunks of NewsPunch stories here.