Hilary Duff, Oprah accused of sex trafficking and Chris Evans of Zionism, false claims on rise amid lockdown
Hilary Duff found herself facing seemingly baseless allegations on Saturday, May 23, when several people on Twitter claimed she was involved in sex trafficking. What led to this extremely serious accusation? The 32-year-old star had recently shared a video on her Instagram story, which featured her eight-year-old son Luca Cruz laying down nude. Duff had covered up his body parts in her video.
"Someone pointed out on Instagram that I did a nude of him, which I did, so we covered that up with sticker," she said in her clip. That clip was shared by many on Twitter, along with the aforementioned allegations.
Duff, of course, did not take this lightly. She wrote on Twitter, “Everyone bored af right now I know..but this is actually disgusting..... whoever dreamed this one up and put this garbage into the universe should take a break from their damn phone. Maybe get a hobby.”
A statement issued by her representatives read: “Let me say this in the strongest terms, this is all a fabricated disgusting internet lie, created and perpetuated by trolls and idiots. Hilary's own post this morning is all that needs to be said on the matter. Everyone who knows Hilary is fully aware what an amazing mom she is and that requires no further comment. If only people with this much time on their hands used their energy to solve real problems in the world.”
Duff may be right in pointing out the reason behind this allegation. People are bored, stuck inside their homes because of the COVID-19 lockdowns in place. Ever since the lockdowns began, we have seen a number of startlingly bizarre accusations and allegations come into play. Almost like clockwork, every week (sometimes every day) has seen an “is over party” trend play out on social media. Be it Timothée Chalamet, Cole Sprouse, Adam Driver, or just about anyone famous, social media users have been “canceling” stars for either no obvious reason or with manufactured reasons.
For example, on Friday, May 22, people on social media canceled Chris ‘Captain America’ Evans for "playing a Zionist" in 'The Red Sea Diving Resort', the 2019 spy thriller.
Zionism, Israel’s national ideology, is the belief that Judaism is a nationality as well as a religion, and that Jewish folks deserve their own state in their ancestral homeland, Israel. It’s a contentious geopolitical philosophy that has both proponents and opponents in vast numbers. Not debating the validity of the ideology, it is patently disingenuous to ascribe it to a celebrity solely based on a film they have acted in.
It’s very much like how so-called patriots and fans of ‘American Sniper’ were enraged after they saw Bradley Cooper attending the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
Just a couple of months ago, however, another absurd, dangerous but decidedly baseless rumor spread like wildfire on Twitter. Oprah Winfrey had to debunk false claims that she was arrested for sex trafficking charges. Per reports, a fake report went viral saying that she had been arrested at her home in Boca Raton, Florida.
Winfrey had then taken to Twitter to say, “Just got a phone call that my name is trending. And being trolled for some awful FAKE thing. It’s NOT TRUE. Haven’t been raided, or arrested. Just sanitizing and self-distancing with the rest of the world. Stay safe everybody.”
Speaking about it more recently in her magazine, Winfrey wrote, “Imagine sitting cozily in bed, propped up on your favorite pillows, 240 pages into a riveting family saga -- when you get a phone call telling you you’re trending on Twitter. And you discover it’s a bogus and vile story that you were arrested and your home was raided for sex trafficking and child pornography. I can’t and don’t want to imagine an uglier accusation.”
“I’m in my bed in my PJs and socks, and somehow #OprahArrested is a thing,” she continued. “My worst fear realized. Being slandered, accused of a crime I didn’t commit.”
However long the lockdowns take to end, this regular trend of false accusations born from boredom cannot end soon enough.