Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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HomeFact CheckNo, CEO Of Disney Was Not Arrested For Human Trafficking, Viral Article...

No, CEO Of Disney Was Not Arrested For Human Trafficking, Viral Article Is A Satire

At least three Disney employees were among 108 people arrested by the Florida police last week in an undercover human trafficking operation. Soon after, an article published by ‘Vancouver Times’ stating that the “CEO of Disney, Bob Chapek, has been arrested for human trafficking at his home in Southern California,” was shared by several social media users believing it to be true. Newschecker found the viral article to be a satire.

Credited to one ‘Jason Pires’, the article states, “Chapek faces multiple felony charges, including trafficking a child across state lines, and possession of child pornography.”

Several Facebook and Twitter users shared the link to the article, expressing their resentment with the mainstream media for not reporting on Chapek’s ‘arrest’.

On March 8, Florida police launched a six-day-undercover operation to identify any trafficking victims being forced into prostitution through online prostitution advertisements. Undercover detectives arrested suspects at the site of arranged meetups. Authorities arrested 108 people, including alleged child sexual predators and those seeking prostitutes, during the undercover operation including four Disney employees and a retired judge.

Also Read: David Bowie Predicted Impact Of Internet In 1999? Viral Video Is A Satire

Fact Check/Verification

On inspecting the link shares by the posts, we were led to an article published in Vancouver Times on March 17, 2022, with the title ‘CEO of Disney arrested for human trafficking.’ Notably, the article is itself categorised under the ‘Satire’ section.

CEO of Disney

The endnote in the article further clarified, “This is a satire article,” and hyperlinked Google news for “non-satirical news on Disney.” 

The ‘About Us’ section clearly states, “Vancouver Times is the most trusted source for satire on the West Coast. We write satirical stories about issues that affect conservatives.” “We are not affiliated with the mainstream media (CBC, CTV etc.) in any way, and any similarities between our content and the work of the MSM is purely coincidental,” it added.

We found several such satirical pieces related to former US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Canada’s Justin Trudeau among others in the ‘Satire’ section of the website.

Notably, in an earlier version, the article, though categorised under ‘Satire’, but there was no endnote or disclaimer regarding the same, which likely created confusion about the nature of the article.

 We further looked up the names of Disney employees arrested in Florida and came across a report by CBS News, dated March 17, 2022. According to the report, the four Disney employees arrested during human trafficking operations were Xavier Jackson who worked as a lifeguard at the Polynesian Resort for Walt Disney, Wilkason Fidele who worked at the Cosmic Restaurant at Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland, Shubham Malave who is on visa citizenship from India and worked as a software developer for Disney and Ralph Leese who spent nearly four years working in IT for Disney.

In a statement to CBS News, Disney confirmed that Leese, Fidele and Jackson have been placed on unpaid leave. It added that Malave is not an employee of the company.

Also Read: An Old Hoax Claiming ‘Bill Gates Called For COVID Vaccine Withdrawal’ Resurfaces On WhatsApp

Conclusion

The viral claim that the CEO of Disney, Bob Chapek, has been arrested for human trafficking is false. It stemmed from a satirical article published by a website called ‘Vancouver Times.’

Result: Satire

Sources

Vancouver Times

CBS News


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Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

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