A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week. None of these stories is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out. Here are the real facts:
Not realHenry Winkler – 1942-2018 – Donates Half of His Estate To MAGA 2020
The factsHenry Winkler has not died, and he did not donate half his estate to Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, despite what a report circulating on social media suggests. The report, published on Nebraska Daily, falsely claimed that “having never married or had children ... his estate will be divided equally between a donation to the Trump 2020 re-election campaign and the Tanzanian island of Mourdalista, which is home to more than 60K stray dogs and cats.” Sheri Goldberg, Winkler’s spokeswoman, told the AP that Winkler is alive and well and does not talk about his political views. “He is not dead,” Goldberg said, adding Winkler “has not donated his estate to the campaign,” nor has he donated any money to it. He is not affiliated with the current administration and its 2020 re-election campaign, she continued. Goldberg also said Winkler did not donate the other half of his estate to a Tanzanian island. There is no known island named “Mourdalista.” Winkler is married to Stacey Weitzman and has three children.
Not realBruno Mars being ‘lined up’ to play Prince in Netflix biopic
The facts A representative for Bruno Mars says suggestions the singer will play Prince in a Netflix biopic are “100 percent false.” Netflix said they had no such film in development. Reports began circulating last weekend after a report in the Sunday Mirror saying Mars was “being lined up to play Prince” in a Netflix biopic. The British tabloid amended its story after being contacted by the AP. Prince died at age 57 in 2016.
Not realMorgan Freeman: ‘Jailing Hillary’ Best Way To ‘Restore Public Faith in Govt’
The factsActor Morgan Freeman did not say that Hillary Clinton should be imprisoned, despite what a report circulating on social media suggests. The report, published on UniversaleMedia, falsely claims that he said, “The best way to restore public faith in government institutions is to ‘send Hillary to prison.’” The report has circulated online before, including in October 2017, the same period Freeman was promoting “The Story Of Us,” a series televised on National Geographic that was released that month. Stan Rosenfield, Freeman’s publicist, told the AP in an email that the story is fabricated and that Freeman did not make those statements.
Rosenfield and Freeman were not previously aware of the stories. Rosenfield noted that Freeman recorded campaign commercials for Clinton when she ran for president in 2016. Only one section of the report is true – that Freeman called on President Donald Trump to tell America the truth behind Russia meddling in 2016 presidential election. Endurance International Group, the company that hosts the domain, did not respond to a request for comment. UniversaleMedia.net does not provide any contact information on its website.
Not realHersheypark giving away free tickets for its 50th anniversary
The factsHersheypark, a family theme park owned by Hershey Chocolate Co. in Pennsylvania, is not giving away five free theme park tickets for its 50th anniversary, despite an advertisement circulating on social media. The scam, which has been taken down, asked users to fill out a three-question survey and share the ad to win the free tickets. Quinn Bryner, a Hersheypark spokeswoman, told The Associated Press in an email that the coupon is false and that they are aware of the “fraudulent offer for tickets to our Park, as well as others, that have cropped up from time to time in various forms via social media since March.” The park has celebrated its 111th year since opening in 1907, Bryner said.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.