A meme shared thousands of times on Facebook falsely alleges Tom Hanks is wearing an ankle monitor and that the actor was arrested in Australia. This unfounded allegation is false and stems from conspiracy claims.
The claim reads: “Look who has a new ankle bracelet! Tom Hanks. Some of you don’t know it but Mr. Hanks was arrested in Australia for pedophilia. He went on national TV to say he had COVID-19 and he was quarantine himself. Not true. He was in custody for a time then house arrest is in his hotel. Now, he’s a flight risk.”
The claim seems to be related to the QAnon conspiracy theory that powerful celebrities are a part of a child sex trafficking ring ( here ). The Reuters Fact Check team debunked a similar claim on Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres wearing ankle bracelets here .
The photos in the claim, visible here , show Hanks in Los Angeles wearing a green bandana face covering on May 20, 2020. While his pants appear to be ruffled, there is no ankle monitor visible. (Another angle is visible here )
Any arrest of Hanks would have been widely reported by news organizations.
While working on a film in Australia, Hanks announced on March 11 that he and his wife Rita Wilson had tested positive for the new coronavirus. The couple returned to Los Angeles on March 27 ( here ) and were photographed upon arrival ( here ).
The FBI designated conspiracies theories including QAnon, the fringe group that claims “deep-state” traitors are plotting against President Donald Trump, as a potential domestic extremist threat ( here ) back in August 2019. The accounts and hashtags associated with the group have been recently suspended and blocked from social media platforms like Twitter ( here ) and TikTok ( here ).
False. Photo does not show Tom Hanks wearing an ankle monitor. The claim stems from conspiracy theories.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here .
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