Fact Check: NO Evidence Ellen DeGeneres And Tom Hanks Said They Will 'Leave The US If Trump Becomes President in 2024'

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: NO Evidence Ellen DeGeneres And Tom Hanks Said They Will 'Leave The US If Trump Becomes President in 2024' No Reports

Did comedian Ellen DeGeneres and actor Tom Hanks pledge to move abroad if Donald Trump is elected president in 2024? No, that's not true: No credible news outlets have reported that. The claim was promoted, among others, by an online store selling T-shirts, a meme website and a parody account -- not by the official websites or social media accounts of either DeGeneres or Hanks.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) published on X, formerly known as Twitter, on December 8, 2023. It opened:

🚨BREAKING: Ellen DeGeneres and Tom Hanks say they will leave the United States if Donald Trump becomes President in 2024.

What's your reaction?

This is what the claim looked like on X at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-01-19 at 4.06.51 PM.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Fri Jan 19 21:06:51 2024 UTC)

The post did not cite any particular source for the supposed "breaking news story." Lead Stories found no evidence that either DeGeneres or Hanks expressed a desire to leave the United States after the 2024 election if Trump becomes president.

Back in 2016, several dozen American celebrities said they would consider moving elsewhere if he won the race that year. However, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter (archived here), that did not result in a mass exodus when Trump became president.

Neither Hanks nor DeGeneres were on that list of celebrities.

Broad Google searches for their names coupled with the exact wording from the post (here and here) did not produce any links to credible reports, and only showed duplicates of the claim.

As of this writing, Hanks' account on Instagram said nothing about the supposed pledge. Neither did the official accounts of DeGeneres on Facebook or Instagram.

The claim came from an X user whose account mimics that of Trump, though it states that the page has "No Affiliation." The same user has posted other baseless statements about celebrities.

Among the accounts that shared the claim that is the focus of this fact check, Lead Stories found a blog on Medium (archived here) selling T-shirts with the same image as in the post on X and a website republishing internet memes (archived here.) Snopes (archived here) previously reported the claim was shared by a parody account as well.

Hanks, who is known for his support of the Democratic Party in general and Joe Biden (archived here) in particular, has been a target of baseless QAnon conspiracies in the past. In 2020, his wife, Rita Wilson, and he became citizens of Greece. However, there is no indication this was related to Trump. As reported by the BBC (archived here), the couple received honorary citizenship for "bringing attention to a devastating wildfire near Athens in July 2018."

Lead Stories went through many of the Hanks' statements about Trump. In 2016, Tom Hanks said that Trump would become president when "spaceships come down filled with dinosaurs" and that, if Trump won, it would become "a dark day for planet Earth" (archived here.) Later, the actor expressed his concerns (archived here) about Trump's attacks on the press. Yet, Lead Stories found no confirmation that Hanks ever made a comment that could be potentially interpreted as his desire to emigrate from the U.S. if Trump becomes president in 2024.

The first claim about DeGeneres debunked by Lead Stories goes back to 2017, the year when she said (archived here) she wouldn't want to have Trump on her show because she was not "going to change his mind." On a different occasion, DeGeneres opposed (archived here) Trump's policy on elephants. However, no news coverage in recent years mentioned that the comedian had announced a plan to leave the country if Trump is elected president in 2024.

Lead Stories contacted Hanks and DeGeneres' spokespeople for further comments. If we get a response, this fact check will be updated as appropriate.

Other Lead Stories fact checks of claims about the entertainment industry can be found here.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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