Jason Lee is standing by the “exclusive” report posted on his news site claiming that Queen Elizabeth II has died, despite facing huge backlash online.
The founder and CEO of the news site Hollywood Unlocked has stood by his outlet’s story, stating: “We don’t post lies.”
After his story alleging that the Queen of the United Kingdom is dead was published, the phrase “Queen is Dead” became a trending topic online. It was refuted by many other journalists and news outlets, then eventually became a running joke on Twitter.
Responding to his critics, Lee wrote on Twitter: “We don’t post lies and I always stand by my sources. Waiting for an official statement from the palace.”
We don’t post lies and I always stand by my sources. Waiting for an official statement from the palace.— Jason Lee (@theonlyjasonlee) February 22, 2022
Lee also posted an image on his Instagram account reaffirming his stance.
Screenshotting an image from hits Notes app, he wrote: “Regarding the Queen Elizabeth story…
- I’ve never lied.
- I’ve never been wrong.
- I trust my sources
- I have yet to see an official statement from the palace saying otherwise.
- I’ll be at the Donda concert tonight with Ye.”
He wrote alongside the post: “Stay tuned.”
On Tuesday, February 22, Hollywood Unlocked claimed to have an exclusive story that Queen Elizabeth was dead. The story is still up on their website and the first line reads: “Socialites, it is with our deepest regret to inform you that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has died.”
The site claims to have “sources close to the Royal Kingdom” who notified Hollywood Unlocked.
On Sunday, February 20, Buckingham Palace announced that the queen had tested positive for COVID-19 but was only experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms.” They also announced that she’ll continue to perform “light duties” from her home in Windsor.
Aside from Lee’s claims via Hollywood Unlocked, there has been no official confirmation from other news sources, or from the Palace that Queen Elizabeth II has died.
After the story was published, it became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter. Once the dust had settled on that rumor, Lee himself became a trending topic online too.
Most were incredulous that Lee had become the first to break the news. One user, @manizegos, received over 19,100 likes and 2,000 retweets for writing: “wym the queen died. and wym the source is jason lee.”
Pondering the possibility that Lee could be correct, @WrittenByHanna wrote: “Imagine Jason Lee being an answer on your history test.” Lee’s odd choice of wording in the initial report confused some, with @blixberrie writing: “Man said ‘sources close to the Royal Kingdom’ like this is Shrek. Jason Lee is a menace.”
British journalists have pointed out that in the event that the queen dies, there are protocols in place for the BBC to break the news first.