Reports that Denzel Washington called former President Barack Obama the “criminal-in-chief” are false. Rumors that the Academy Award-winning actor criticized Obama and the mainstream media at a screening of his new film stemmed from a notorious purveyor of fake news.
According to a Gossip Cop report, the fake claim originated on YourNewsWire, a disreputable/clickbait website known for publishing conspiracy theories and fake news. The article claimed that, in a recent interview, Washington attacked Obama and complained about CNN’s coverage of the president during his tenure. It purported:
Former president Barack Obama ran the United States “like a banana republic” as “criminal-in-chief” and enriched himself and his cronies at the expense of the rest of the country, according to Denzel Washington.
“Federal debt skyrocketed under Obama. He was printing money by the end of his reign. This is unheard of in our history. He ran the country like a banana republic,” said Denzel Washington at a New York screening of his new film, the legal drama “Roman J. Israel, Esq.“
Asked by a reporter whether his information about Obama was correct, Denzel Washington confirmed that it was “absolutely correct.” He also criticized mainstream media for attempting to turn Obama into a “kind of idol.”
The article, however, is entirely fabricated. None of the quotes included in the article are real and, while YourNewsWire contains no disclaimer on their website, RationalWiki provides a short description on the site:
YourNewsWire (styled as YourNewsWire.com) is an Los Angeles-based clickbait fake news website known for disseminating conspiracy theories and misleading information, contrary to its claimed motto (“News. Truth. Unfiltered”).
Washington was a supporter of Obama in the 2008 election. Additionally, the actor hugged Obama in front of the Lincoln Memorial at his inaugural celebration in 2009 and praised him during a screening of the film “Fences” last year. “I think that he served with dignity, strength, patience and I think he did a great job,” he said. Washington’s new film Roman J. Isreal, Esq., which was referenced in the fake story, was released last month.
Here are some examples of people sharing the fake story on social media:
Social Media Shares Fake Story about Denzel Washington Calling Barack Obama “Criminal-In-Chief”
— Dreaming of Peace (@cjsienna55) December 4, 2017
Denzel Washington: ‘Criminal-In-Chief’ Obama ‘Tore Heart Out Of America’ https://t.co/BqK9CGkRVU
— M"la (@heifer109) December 3, 2017
"Obama blew it for America big time and now they are trying to portray him as some kind of idol?” Denzel Washington: "Criminal-In-Chief" Obama "Tore Heart Out Of America" https://t.co/jR3TQIFTHf
— FEATHERJOURNEY4 (@featherjourney4) December 2, 2017
— Duchess Manchester (@Duchessmontagu) December 2, 2017
Denzel Washington: "Criminal-In-Chief" Obama "Tore Heart Out Of America" https://t.co/iGzJ1q1mfr
— (((SIT REP))) (@DamianISmith) December 5, 2017
Have you seen the fake story about Denzel Washington calling Barack Obama the “criminal-in-chief” circulating social media? What are your thoughts on websites publishing fake celebrity quotes? Sound off in the comments section below!
Photo credit: Paul Rudman, Wikimedia Commons