No, CEO Of Disney Was Not Arrested For Human Trafficking, Viral Article Is A Satire
March 22, 2022
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 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.
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 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.
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.’