Fact Check: Disney Did NOT Lose 23 Million Subscribers After 'Trying To Cancel Elon Musk'

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Disney Did NOT Lose 23 Million Subscribers After 'Trying To Cancel Elon Musk' Satirical Site

Did the Walt Disney Company lose 23 million subscribers after "trying to cancel Elon Musk"? No, that's not true: This claim appeared in an article on a satirical website known for publishing fabricated content. The website has a disclaimer that reads, "Everything on this website is fiction."

The claim appeared in an article published by The Dunning-Kruger Times on November 30, 2023, and titled "Disney Loses 23 Million Subscribers Overnight After Trying to Cancel Elon Musk" (archived here). The article opened:

The Walt Disney Company, which decided long ago that it would align itself with woke ideologies, just found out what happens when you mess with Americans and their freedom of speech.

After the company cut ties with Elon Musk because he mentioned the word 'Pizzagate,' 23 million freedom-loving American patriots cut their ties with Disney Plus.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Disney Loses 23 Million Subscribers Overnight After Trying to Cancel Elon Musk

Their streaming service is in ruins.

The article continued:

'It's unprecedented,' said Disney's head of marketing, Joe Barron, 'we had no idea that many conspiracy theorists were tuned in.'

Musk is under fire for bringing up the theory that there's a pedophilia trafficking ring in the basement of a pizza place in Washington DC that has no basement. Advertisers are concerned that they'll be tied to the guy responsible if another lunatic shows up there and starts firing his assault rifle.

'He's off his rocker,' said Barron, 'And the sycophant blue-check army that thinks he's the cat's meow is nothing but a collection of Trumpster loyalist stooges.'

ALLOD Pizzafier Specialisticator Tara Newhole says she's been to the place in question, and that there is definitely no basement. 'You sent me there. For a large Hawaiian. Because you're one of those weirdos. They laughed and told me if I could find the basement I'd win a million dollars. So either they're telling the truth or they've paid a lot of money to conceal it.'

Joe Barron is not "Disney's head of marketing." Barron is the name of a deceased friend of Dunning-Kruger Times founder Christopher Blair. Barron's name shows up as a critical witness or source in many of the parodies published by Blair, in made-up roles including the coach of the New York Jets, president of the NCAA and a "publishing mogul." As of April 6, 2023, Asad Ayaz is the chief brand officer and president of marketing for The Walt Disney Company.

In a November 30, 2023, interview at The New York Times' DealBook Summit 2023, Musk briefly acknowledged Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger while using a profanity to express his disdain for those who "try to blackmail me with advertising" on his social-media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. Musk's comments start at the 11:13 mark The video was posted on the verified YouTube account of New York Times Events.

A search (archived here) for phrases that correlate with The Dunning-Kruger Times article using Google News' index of thousands of credible news sites did not reveal any factual reports that Disney Plus lost 23 million subscribers in one day after withdrawing advertising from X in response to Musk's remarks.

The article also mentions an "ALLOD Pizzafier Specialisticator" named "Tara Newhole." There is no evidence that either exists.

Lead Stories previously found the claim that Elon Musk declined a $120 Million Bud Light Twitter marketing campaign to be false. Additional Lead Stories fact checks that mention Elon Musk can be read here.

Lead Stories has contacted representatives of The Walt Disney Company and Disney +. This fact check will be updated if any responses are received.

The Dunning-Kruger Times

The Dunning-Kruger Times is a satirical website with an About Us page (archived here) that has the following disclaimer:

About Us

Dunning-Kruger-Times.com is a subsidiary of the 'America's Last Line of Defense' network of parody, satire, and tomfoolery, or as Snopes called it before they lost their war on satire: Junk News

About Satire

Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with 'comedy':

sat·ire ˈsaˌtī(ə)r noun: The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, OR ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.

The website is named after the Dunning-Kruger effect, a term from a psychology experiment that describes the phenomenon of being ignorant of one's own ignorance. (That experiment has been disputed by a math professor.)

It is run by self-described liberal troll Christopher Blair.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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