The claim: Halyna Hutchins’ next project was a documentary about Hollywood pedophile rings
Shortly after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed in mid-October by a gun used as a prop on a movie set, claims began circulating on social media that there is more to the story.
“Halyna Hutchins’ next project was documentary on Hollywood pedophile rings,” reads the headline of a purported news article screenshotted in an Oct. 24 Instagram post. The image garnered more than 1,200 likes in two days.
The post implies her death, then, was something other than an accident.
But this headline shows nothing of the sort.
Hutchins’ agent says that she was not planning a future documentary on that topic. And the headline in the screenshot matches a version of the article on a “prank news” website.
USA TODAY reached out to the social media users for comment.
Hutchins’ agent says she didn’t have any documentaries in the works
Hutchins’ feature and television agent Craig Mizrahi said there was no pedophile documentary in the works, in an email to USA TODAY.
“Halyna was not working on, associated with or contacted by any upcoming documentaries,” he said. “Her only proposed projects were traditional narrative films.”
While the image shows what appears to be a news headline, it doesn’t indicate where the story is from. However, a post with identical phrasing and a similar format can be found on World Grey News, a self-proclaimed “Prank News” website.
Although the social media posts that USA TODAY reviewed featured a “read more…” section at the bottom of the text, the World Grey News version has no additional content.
The website’s About page says, “Purpose of this website is fun. It should be used for joking with your friends.” The About page also features a “Create your own fake news” link which brings the user to a page that appears to let the user create a title, text, and choose a legitimate news source logo.
USA TODAY previously debunked a claim that Hutchins tweeted she had incriminating information about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. There’s no evidence Hutchins sent any such tweet.
Organized pedophilia rings and Clinton’s alleged criminality are both recurring themes in baseless QAnon conspiracy theories. USA TODAY has previously debunked false claims Clinton was arrested by Navy SEALs and that various celebrities are pedophiles, among other QAnon-related claims.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Halyna Hutchins’ next project was a documentary about Hollywood pedophile rings. Her agent says that she had no other documentaries in the works, and the image circulating on social media is very similar to one found on a “prank news” website.
Our fact-check sources:
- USA TODAY, Oct. 26, Will Halyna Hutchins’ death on the set of ‘Rust’ be a ‘breakthrough’ moment for Hollywood safety?
- USA TODAY, June 18. 2020, Fact check: Ellen, Oprah, many others are not under house arrest for child sex trafficking
- World Grey News article, captured Oct. 24, archive.today webpage capture
- World Grey News ‘About’ page, captured Oct. 25, archive.today webpage capture
- World Grey News fake news creator, captured Oct. 26, archive.today webpage capture
- Politifact, Oct. 25, No, Halyna Hutchins wasn’t working on a Hollywood pedophile rings doc
- Reuters, Oct. 25, Fact Check-Apparent article about Halyna Hutchins’ next project stems from fake news generating website
- AFP, Oct. 26, Halyna Hutchins’ death falsely linked to Hollywood pedophilia documentary
- USA TODAY, Aug. 4, QAnon followers distance themselves from the movement’s most bizarre conspiracy theories as they rebrand
- USA TODAY, March 8, Fact check: Hillary Clinton was not arrested by Navy SEALs acting on Trump’s order
- USA TODAY, Aug. 13, 2020, Fact check: Tom Hanks is now a Greek citizen, but pedophilia has nothing to do with it
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Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.