This video clip of a man ripping up a flag with Pride colours is staged - Featured image

This video clip of a man ripping up a flag with Pride colours is staged

A clip showing a father tearing up and stamping on the American flag is an extract from a fictional, scripted video by a digital creator. But some of the footage has been misleadingly shared by social media users in Greece who believe it to be real and use it to promote anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment after the legalisation of same-sex civil marriage in February 2024. The cast and creators of the video explain at the end of the clip that it is a skit. 

“TEARING UP THE FAKE FLAG,” reads a Facebook post on February 27, 2024, which has been shared more than 350 times. Similar posts were shared in English, Spanish, Turkish and Russian. In the video, a man can be seen tearing up and stamping on an American flag in LGBTQ+ colours that had been hanging outside the house of a woman.

Comments approve of his actions, writing things like “well done” and posting applause or thumbs-up emoticons. Several call for violence against the woman. One writes: “This is what we should all do with their propaganda. They want to make the unnatural normal.”

The posts in Greek were shared after Greece legalised same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples on February 15 (archived here). Around a week later, Minister of Tourism Olga Kefalogianni signed a memorandum of cooperation (archived here) with Queer Destinations intended to make Greece a safer place for LGBTQ+ travellers.

However, homophobic incidents since then have raised concerns within the LGBTQ+ community in Greece  – which decriminalised same-sex sexual activity in 1951 (archived here). A few days after the legislation was passed, the first same-sex wedding was held in Athens under police protection after the couple received threats of physical violence, as reported by Antivirus Magazine (archived here).

On March 9, 2024, two transgender people were attacked by scores of youths in Thessaloniki and 21 people were arrested, half of them minors (archived here).

Screenshot of the misleading post on Facebook. Image captured: 12/03/2024

A longer fictional skit 

The video of the man tearing down the American flag was also shared on Greek websites (here, here, here and here).

The footage is an excerpt from a longer video of a total duration of  07’09” shared in September 2023. The clip shared on social media, lasting 01’37”, is a scripted, fictional scene and does not depict a real-life situation.

reverse video search using frames from the video led us to a Facebook post dated September 27, 2023, with the title: “Dad rips pride flag coming to pick up his son” (archived here).

At 6’20” into the video, the cast members and the administrator of the page that posted the video explain on camera that the scene is entirely staged. “Hey guys, that was all a complete skit. Now we wanna know what your thoughts was on the situation,” one of them says.

The name of the account that posted the video is “Jibrizy Media”. According to the profile, the page is produced by Rick Lax Productions, LLC. A Google search for “Rick Lax Productions” led to a Facebook page with matching information (archived here). As stated on the linked website, it is a company that “turns motivated entertainers into top-earning digital creators” (archived here).

A screenshot of the original post shows the individuals in the video stating that it was a skit. Image captured: 12//03/2024

A Facebook search for the term “Jibrizy” led to another Facebook page (archived here) featuring the same individual in both the profile and cover photos. On this Facebook page, “Jibrizy” identifies as a comedian, with the following description: “I’m a director making conversational topic videos that feel real.”

AFP noticed that both accounts “Jibrizy Media” and “Jibrizy” post similar content, much of it short, directed videos. We contacted the creator via email and Facebook for comment but had received no response by the time of publication.

In September 2023 AFP looked into another LGBTQ+-related video shared by the Facebook page “Jibrizy”. In this case, too, a clip was extracted and shared on social media with claims that it was true. However, the original video, which showed a mother storming into a classroom to tear down a Pride flag, was similarly part of a series of fictional classroom skits.

AFP has previously verified false or misleading claims regarding the LGBTQ+ community, such as here and here in Greek, and here and here in English.

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Fact Check, Politics, Society

Author(s): Magdalini GKOGKOU / AFP Greece

Originally published here.