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Fact Check-Video of unmasked plane passenger complaining about unvaccinated passenger is fictional

Viewed at least 42 million times on social media platforms, a fictional clip in which actors impersonate an unmasked vaccinated passenger complaining to a flight attendant about the unvaccinated passenger next to her has triggered outrage online, with some social media users thinking the scene is authentic.

The three-minute video, apparently filmed by a passenger, shows a blond woman in a blue sweater standing up in the aisle, yelling at a flight attendant. “I’m not sitting here, hey they’re not safe. Do you understand?” she can be heard saying at the beginning of the clip ( here ). “I asked him for his vaccine card and he doesn’t have one because he’s not vaccinated,” she says around timestamp 00:55 ( youtu.be/GhXM-JsHCuI?t=55 ). “You can't make me breathe his oxygen because he's not vaccinated,” she later says ( youtu.be/GhXM-JsHCuI?t=90 ).

Popular posts featuring the video that make no clear indication that the scene was staged are viewable on TikTok ( here ), Facebook ( here ), Instagram ( here ) and Twitter ( here ).

The iteration published by right-wing group Turning Point USA on YouTube ( youtu.be/GhXM-JsHCuI ) has been viewed over 186,700 times.

While some users point to the video being staged, others think the scene is real. “This people are INSANE, vaccinated people are crazy, she’s “protected “ why she cares the person next to her is not vaccinated,” one Twitter user commented. “As for the lady she’s so brainwashed from all the fake news, if she’s so scared,she shouldn’t fly! Exit that plane,” another person wrote.

As pointed out by fact checker HoaxEye on Twitter ( here ), the IMDB page of the clip entitled “COVID flight” identifies content creator Prince EA (or Richard Williams) as the producer of the video ( here ).

Williams posted the video on his Facebook profile on Nov. 1 with the description “Vaxxed or unvaxxed, no one should behave like this,” which he later changed to: “She must have been having a bad day” and added the disclaimer: “For entertainment purposes.” ( archive.ph/wip/Iwd4p )

Williams did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Jamie Hull-Greenwood, credited as director of the clip on the IMDB page, posted a photograph on Instagram on Oct. 27 with the caption “filming on a plane for Prince Ea, directing a micro short is normally fun but with a fear of flying it’s pretty scary.” ( here )

In another post ( here ), he shared a photograph featuring what appears to be the actors who played the pilot (identified as Sean Pogmore in the IMDB website of the clip ( here ) and the flight attendant.

The caption on the photograph reads: “Great cast, another great shoot for @jpcfilm a pleasure to direct! #indiefilm #producer #film #filmmaking #director.”

Jake Cauty, credited for cinematography and film editing, according to the IMDB page, also posted a photograph on Instagram ( here ), showing the plane set that appears to be featured in the viral video (see navy seats with red fabric, youtu.be/GhXM-JsHCuI). His caption includes hashtags like #filmmaking , #filmmaker and #videoproduction. The photograph also appears to show the two actresses viewable in the clip.

According to a Rolling Stone report ( here ), Jordan Holland, who appears to have played the role of the flight attendant “wrote a now-deleted post on her Facebook” featuring a photo of the cast and crew alongside the caption: “Great fun filming today with a fun crew! Got to play the part of an airline hostess dealing with a not-so-happy Karen.” Reuters was not able to independently verify this.

VERDICT

Missing context. This video shows actors in a staged scene.

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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