Fact Check: Mel Gibson, Mark Wahlberg Did NOT Co-Create 'Non-Woke Film Production Studio' -- Satire Website Source

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Mel Gibson, Mark Wahlberg Did NOT Co-Create 'Non-Woke Film Production Studio' -- Satire Website Source Satire Origin

Did Hollywood director Mel Gibson and actor Mark Wahlberg "join hands to create a non-woke film production studio," as a post on Instagram claims? No, that's not true: The meme image and caption that make this claim were taken word for word from an article published by a self-described satirical website. None of the website's content is real, according to its disclaimer. The article's headline was reposted to social media and is circulating without this disclaimer.

The meme (archived here) making the claim about Gibson and Wahlberg's supposed studio plans was posted on the Instagram account of @cloketea on April 2, 2024, with no caption. The text on the meme reads:

Mel Gibson and Mark Wahlberg Join Hands to Create a Non-Woke Film Production Studio
Mel Gibson and Mark Wahlberg Join Hands to Create a Non-Woke Film Production Studio, 'Hollywood Is Saved'

This is how the post appeared on Instagram at the time of writing:


(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Fri Apr 12 14:36:29 2024 UTC)

The post uses the headline and an image from a satirical article about Gibson and Wahlberg published on March 31, 2024, by the website esspots.com.

The esspots.com article's headline and image were also posted on the Facebook page SpaceX Fanclub (archived here), which is linked to esspots.com. They have since been removed, but can be seen in an April 4, 2023, fact check by Snopes.

The Intro section of the SpaceX Fanclub states: "We post SATIRE, nothing on this page is real."

As seen on esspots.com, the article has 10 tags at the top; the first is "SATIRE." At the bottom of the article is a short bio for the pseudonymous author, Alex Robin. The bio says, in part:

With years of experience in crafting clever and satirical pieces, Alex has made a name for himself as one of the funniest and sharpest writers in the industry. Although his true identity remains a mystery, what is clear is that Alex has a knack for finding the absurdity in everyday situations and turning them into laugh-out-loud funny stories.

On esspots.com's About Us page, the website describes itself:

Welcome to the US page of Esspots (A Subsidiary of SpaceXMania.com specializing in Satire and Parody News), your one-stop destination for satirical news and commentary about the United States of America. Our team of writers and editors is dedicated to bringing you the latest and greatest in fake news and absurdity, all with a healthy dose of humor and satire.

Google search results (archived here) gave no indication that Gibson and Wahlberg are forming a production company.

The two celebrities' names have recently been in the news together because of Gibson's new film "Flight Risk," which stars Wahlberg. The "Flight Risk" trailer was shown on April 11, 2024, at CinemaCon, an annual convention of movie-theater owners. Gibson and Wahlberg also worked together as actors in the 2022 film "Father Stu."

Lead Stories could find no confirmed information about the two men's further collaboration.

On April 11, 2024, the Facebook page SpaceX Fanclub posted a close copy of the meme that appeared on Instagram. The second version (pictured below) names Denzel Washington and Clint Eastwood.

The first comment on this post links to a related satirical article on esspots.com. The post's caption says:

Denzel Washington and Clint Eastwood Join Forces to Launch Non-Woke Movie Production Studio


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Apr 12 14:36:29 2024 UTC)

The two articles are remarkably similar in construction and detail, although they do not have identical text. This seems to be the result of using a word substitution program called an article spinner, which is sometimes used by websites to avoid detection of plagiarism. The first paragraphs of the two articles are offered below for comparison.

Article 1:

In a bold move shaking up Hollywood, veteran actors Mel Gibson and Mark Wahlberg have teamed up to launch a new film production studio dedicated to preserving traditional storytelling and avoiding the pitfalls of woke culture. The announcement comes as a breath of fresh air for many in the industry who have grown weary of the pervasive influence of political correctness and social activism in filmmaking.

Article 2:

In an exciting development for the film industry, Hollywood icons Denzel Washington and Clint Eastwood have teamed up to establish a new movie production studio that promises to prioritize storytelling over political correctness. The collaboration marks a significant departure from prevailing industry trends and underscores a commitment to artistic freedom and authentic narratives. Let's delve into the details of this groundbreaking partnership and what it means for the future of cinema.

Lead Stories' policy is to fact check satires only "if it seems there are enough people believing it is real," when satirical content is misrepresented as real or when satirical content is republished without disclaimers.

Other Lead Stories fact checks of claims about Mel Gibson can be read here. Our debunks of claims about Mark Wahlberg can be found here.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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