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Fact Check-Article about Denzel Washington leaving the Democratic Party is false, publishers describe intent as satire

An article circulating on social media falsely claims Hollywood actor Denzel Washington has “had it with the lies” and is “leaving the Democrat party.” The article’s publishers say their material is intended as satire, although some users appear to be taking the content seriously. The actor’s representative says Washington never said the quotes attributed to him.

The article ( here ) entitled “Denzel Washington Leaves Democrat Party: ‘I’ve Had it With the Lies’” was published by a Busatroll.org, which describes itself as part of the “parody, satire, and tomfoolery” network “America’s Last Line of Defense” ( bustatroll.org/about-us/ ). In it’s About Us section, the page states that: “Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined.”

While it was published in 2019 and has since been debunked by Snopes ( here ), the story continues to be shared.

On March 7, 2021, another Facebook page “America - Love It Or Leave It” posted the content with the caption “WE ALL HAVE! Glad he finally saw the light.” ( here ) This site also describes its content as satirical, containing a disclaimer in its About Us section saying “Nothing on this page is real”.

Recent comments from users that appear to be taking the content seriously include: “Thank you. Always a good guy. You can use what you learned from them, to help the other side, not to make the same mistakes. Good teacher”, “Glad to hear this Denzel.. We need more Movie Stars to do the same” and “Always did have respect for him, now even more.”

Referring to the Bustatroll.org article, Alan Nierob, a representative for Washington, confirmed to Reuters via email that the actor “did not say this to any publication.”

It is not the first time that Washington was the target of false claims relating to politics. As reported by the BBC on Nov. 15, 2016, a fabricated news story alleged the actor had “praised US President-elect Donald Trump”. At the time, Nierob told the BBC that the story was “100% complete fabrication." ( here )

In 2016, Washington told reporters it was “none of your business” when asked about who he voted for in the presidential election ( youtu.be/kS3Xug7Vuig?t=42 ). According to the Center for Responsible Politics ( here ), he has donated to Democrats in the past, including President Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008.

VERDICT

False. An article saying Denzel Washington has “had it with the lies” and is “leaving the Democrat party” is not true and its publishers say their intent was satire.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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