A video that appears to capture a conflict between crew members on a commercial flight and a passenger demanding a seat change after a fellow passenger refused to show proof of vaccination isn’t real — it was staged for a short film. Let’s take a look at the facts.
Here is a full copy of the video:
The pandemic has prompted a spate of real incidents involving conflict over COVID-19 safety protocols on airlines, and raw cellphone videos of unruly passengers often circulate on social media — so it’s not surprising that many people who encounter this video might initially believe it’s authentic. This vignette also resonated with people who are resistant to COVID-19 vaccine mandates and safety protocols because it caricatured the “passenger’s” concerns about her unvaccinated seatmate and framed her request for a new seat as “discrimination.” Staged videos that aren’t clearly labeled as fiction have become an “engagement bait” trend on TikTok — and one company has gone so far as to create “fictional influencers.”
- “Was Woman Removed from Flight for Insisting on COVID-19 Vaccinations?” (Dan Evon, Snopes).
- “A Bogus Anti-Vaccine Video of a ‘Karen’ on a Plane Is Going Viral on TikTok”(EJ Dickson, Rolling Stone).
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