Fact Check: Sylvester Stallone Did NOT Withdraw From Movie With Robert DeNiro -- Did NOT Call Him 'Woke' And 'Creepy'

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Sylvester Stallone Did NOT Withdraw From Movie With Robert DeNiro -- Did NOT Call Him 'Woke' And 'Creepy' Made-Up Story

Did Sylvester Stallone withdraw from a movie project with Robert DeNiro, calling him "woke" and "creepy"? No, that's not true: The website that originally posted the article making the claim labels the story "Hollywood satire." Stallone's lawyer told Lead Stories the article is "a completely false and fabricated story." And there is no corroborating evidence that Stallone gave up a $1 billion project with DeNiro because he was "woke" or "creepy," as the article claimed.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) where it was published on the website esspots.com on December 9, 2023, under the title "Breaking: Sylvester Stallone Withdraws From $1 Billion Project With "Creepy" Robert DeNiro." It opened:

In a surprising turn of events, Hollywood is abuzz with the news that Sylvester Stallone has decided to withdraw from a colossal $1 billion project featuring Robert De Niro. The unexpected departure is not only making headlines for its financial implications but also for the use of terms like "too much woke" and "creepy" to describe DeNiro.

This is what the article looked like on the website at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-06-03 at 12.42.25 PM.png

(Source: Esspots website screenshot taken on Mon June 3 16:26:30 2024 UTC)

The article was written in December 2023 but gained traction again after DeNiro campaigned for Joe Biden outside the New York City courthouse during Donald Trump's criminal trial in May 2024, as news outlets like CNN reported (archived here). The claim about Stallone resurfaced late May and early June 2024, in similar social media posts such as here and here (archived here), without any mention of the information coming from a satire website.

The article on Esspots claimed there was an official statement by the "Rocky" actor, writing:

In his official statement addressing the withdrawal, Stallone mentioned, 'He's too much woke for my taste.'

A Google search for keywords (archived here) did not yield any matching results for the official statement, which if it had come from one of the biggest stars in Hollywood would have made national headlines.

The website is a satire site, as the "About Us" section shows in the screenshot below:

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.

Screen Shot 2024-06-03 at 2.28.23 PM.png

(Source: Esspots website screenshot taken on Mon June 3 16:35:21 2024 UTC)

A further Google search of keywords (archived here) did not return any credible reports about Stallone withdrawing from a movie with DeNero.

Lead Stories reached out to Stallone's representatives. His lawyer, Marty Singer, responded by email on June 4, 2024, saying, "This is a completely false and fabricated story."

Other fact check agencies have previously reviewed this claim, including Snopes.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about claims concerning Sylvester Stallone can be found here and stories about claims concerning Robert DeNiro can be found here.


  • 2024-06-04T23:50:43Z 2024-06-04T23:50:43Z
    Adds response from Stallone's lawyer, calling claim "completely false and fabricated."

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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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