Hollywood a-List celebrities defending Kosovo

IN4S portal, known for its sensationalistic reporting, published on July 21 alleged statement of a renowned American actor and producer, Tom Hanks, about Kosovo.

It is generally known that politics is directly involved in all aspects of social life, thus in the culture itself, in the broadest sense. But, when the domestic (read Serbian) politicized and dual cultural scene is not enough to change the political discourse, the international one comes up on stage.

IN4S portal, known for its sensationalistic reporting, published on July 21 alleged statement of a renowned American actor and producer, Tom Hanks, about Kosovo. Appearing as a guest on the American E! TV, on the occasion of making a movie about the history of establishment of the Israeli country, the famous Oscar-winner compared the holocaust of Jews in World War II with the situation in Kosovo, where once used to live Serbs, but then came the Albanians and exiled them.

In the IN4S interpretation, Hanks concludes that at the end of the 20th century, Serbs were bombed by NATO, but that they still do not want to recognize Kosovo independence. They keep saying that Kosovo is Serbia, just like Jews once, who returned to their land in the end, so maybe the same will happen to Serbs.

By reminding readers that Hanks converted to Orthodoxy as early as 1988, the portal actually wanted to emphasize the credibility of his claims, as well as the compassion which such a giant of Hollywood cinematography has for the Serbian people.

Almost the same news was posted on February 17 and 18, 2013 on the Serbian portals Vecernje Novosti and Politika. Then, the Kosovar portal Koha Ditore wrote about Leslee Dart, Hanks’ publicist from Los Angeles, who gave her denials of any actor’s statement given in such a context.

By the end of the same year, on December 4, Telegraf reported on the Serbian public service (RTS) falling for the fake news, stating that it was quickly deleted from the portal’s front page after having determined it was not true.

DFC researched the debatable information and found out the following data.

First, the website of the above-mentioned E! TV, which mostly broadcasts the Kardashian family reality program and short news about the lives of famous Hollywood stars, do not have any such statement of Tom Hanks.

Second, until this day, Google does not provide any news about the alleged filming of the establishment of the Israeli country in the production of Steven Spielberg. Nor IMDb, a worldwide popular website about movies, famous persons, TV shows and so on, provide in its biographies of renowned director S. Spielberg and actor T. Hanks, any information on a movie about the establishment of Israeli country even being filmed.

Third, it is obvious that the disputable Tom Hanks’ statement is being launched year after year, so the same news with a slightly different headline is found on IN4S portal on July 5, 2014: Tom Hanks: Kosovo will be Serbian again. The same information has also been periodically published on other Serbian portals (Informer, Srbija Danas, Nacionalist, Espreso, Pravda, Kurir…) but with some different headlines: Statement of a famous actor made Albanians furious; World-renowned actor DELIGHTED Serbs again with THIS statement!; TOM HANKS: Serbs will return Kosovo someday!

Just as is the case we have analyzed, there are numerous examples of fake news serving as a populist method of political mobilization of the broadest levels of nations to arouse the national zeal. This particularly is contributed by unprofessional media, or better say spokespersons of interest groups, whose first and the utmost goal is the fabrication of fake news of different content.

Other Hollywood actors against Kosovo’s independence

That this example is not alone proves news from 2008 with similar content. Back then, Blic wrote about announcements of Hollywood actors such as George Clooney, Sharon Stone, Richard Gere, and Sean Connery, to organize a protest against Kosovo’s independence from Serbia. On the other hand, Foreign Policy wrote then that the superstars denied the published statements.

However, until this day neither have the Serbian media reported on these denials nor have they confuted the information. On the contrary, year after year they have been fabricating same or similar claims, adding to the list of Hollywood actors persons like Johnny Depp and Robert De Niro, who allegedly oppose to Kosovo’s independence as well.