Truth Tracker: Popular on-plane anti-vaccine video staged
TORONTO – A popular anti-vaccine video of an angry woman on a commercial plane denouncing an unvaccinated passenger is actually a scene from a short film that was staged and shared on social media to attract mass attention.
The the video clip was posted on TikTok by a creator named Anjelo Tavera on November 2 and has since been viewed over 35.6 million times. It has also been reposted and shared thousands of times on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
The video, which appears to be recorded from the angle of a watching passenger, shows a blonde woman in a blue sweater – dubbed “Karen” online – berating a flight attendant on an airliner after the man sitting next to her refused to show her proof of COVID-19 vaccination, leading the woman to believe the man is not vaccinated.
“I work hard, I paid my place, which is clearly going to put my life in danger,” says the woman in the video
“I can’t be forced to breathe his oxygen. It’s not fair,” she continued before the captain appeared to deliver a speech in front of the passengers on the plane.
“Vaccinated or unvaccinated, we have to respect each other,” said the captain, adding that he would not tolerate any “discrimination” against the unvaccinated on his flight. The woman is then removed from the plane to applause.
BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
Despite many red flags questioning the authenticity of the video, including the female accent, empty passenger seats beyond the camera’s focus, and dramatic background music, the video was used in line to promote anti-vaccine narratives and misinformation, given the film’s lively social subject matter. .
From an IMDB page shared by Twitter account @HoaxEye, which serves to check popular online content, the video is part of a short film titled “Covid Flight”. The role of “Karen” is played by British actress Diana Winter, originally from Bournemouth and registered with UK Equity. She has also appeared in a handful of other shorts, according to its IMDB page. The flight attendant appears to have been played by actor Jordan Holland, which is represented by Aston Management.
JCP Film’s Jamie Hull-Greenwood is credited on IMDB as the director of the video. According to his Facebook page, JPC Film is an “independent production team with a history of providing professional, impactful and visually stunning multimedia content”.
Although the video has little to no airline badge, red seat covers with an aircraft logo similar to that of JARE, an aviation training partnership based in Bournemouth, UK, are featured. visible around the 1:20 mark in the video.
According to the company website, JARE offers the Boeing B737 for hire to film crews, among other services, providing further indication that the video was not filmed during an actual commercial flight.
Content creator Prince Ea, also known as Richard Williams is listed as executive producer of the film. Williams, who has 5.6 million YouTube subscribers, regularly posts similar videos on his channel depicting controversial social scenarios.
He posted the video for “Covid Flight” November 1 on Facebook and captioned the post: “She must have had a bad day.” However, Williams did not disclose the source of the clip or mention that it does not portray real events. The video has since been shared over 150,000 times.
Per Williams posting “Covid Flight” on social media without warning about its authenticity, the video was shared widely online with little context due to its controversial topic of vaccine requirements on international flights.
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