Fact Check: Paramount Did NOT Offer Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Richards $500 Million To Make 'Un-Woke' Sitcom -- Story Is From Satire Site

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Paramount Did NOT Offer Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Richards $500 Million To Make 'Un-Woke' Sitcom -- Story Is From Satire Site Satire

Did Paramount offer Jerry Seinfeld and Michael Richards $500 million to make an "un-woke" sitcom? No, that's not true: The website the article originated from is self-described as satirical and says on its "About Us" page that its content is "the freshest fake news." A Google News search did not yield any evidence to substantiate the claim of major movie studio Paramount making a $500 million offer to Seinfeld and Richards.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published on spacexmania.com on April 14, 2024, under the title "Breaking: Paramount Proposes A $500 Million Deal To Jerry Seinfeld And 'Blacklisted' Michael Richards For Un-Woke Sitcom Project." It opened:

In a recent development, Paramount Pictures has extended a lucrative offer of $500 million to iconic comedian Jerry Seinfeld and the embattled Michael Richards for an innovative sitcom project.

This is how the article appeared at the time of writing

Screen Shot 2024-06-11 at 2.16.34 PM.png

(Source: Spacexmania.com screenshot taken on Mon Jun 10 14:36:54 2024 UTC)

When viewers click on the article, a small gray "Satire" label can be seen above the headline, as this screenshot shows:

Screen Shot 2024-06-11 at 2.19.24 PM.png

(Source: Spacexmania.com screenshot taken on Mon Jun 10 14:38:12 2024 UTC)

The "About Us" section of SpaceXMania.com (archived here) lets readers know the site publishes "fake news ... and a good dose of satire":

Our mission? To bring you the freshest fake news, some sassy analysis, and a good dose of satire, all rolled into one crazy concoction that orbits around Elon Musk and everything that's lighting up the viral/trending charts.

The article never mentions the word "woke" but alleges that the Paramount made the proposals to the actor/comedians despite Richards' "history of controversy."

Despite the satire label on spacexmania.com, the article was repeated on social media in June 2024 as "news" without any indication of the source or that the story was made up. Examples are here and here.

A Google search with keywords did not yield any credible matching results to support the claim. If the claim were true, it would be a major news story, with coverage appearing in such searches.

Other Lead Stories fact checks on claims concerning Spacexmania are here.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
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