The allegation that Queen Elizabeth has died after it was revealed that she had a mild case of COVID-19 by Jason Lee and his Hollywood Unlocked outlet has caused major confusion, resulting in a faked apology and Lee doubling down on his story.
The blog, founded by Jason Lee, reportedly released a statement of apology through a Twitter account on Wednesday morning (February 23rd) for issuing a story that claimed that the British monarch had passed away shortly after news had been revealed that she contracted the coronavirus. “Our deepest apologies goes out to the #RoyalFamily and all involved in this embarrassing situation. It was an accident and we’re working hard to make sure that this mistake never happens again. The intern journalist was misinformed and published the draft post by mistake,” the tweet read. The tweet, however, has been deleted. Lee posted his own statement claiming the apology statement came from an unaffiliated account: “Woke up to some fake account posting a retraction. We do not know that account and we have not retracted our story. There has yet to be an official statement from the Palace. Staying tuned.”
On Tuesday (February 22nd), the site issued the story claiming Queen Elizabeth had allegedly passed away, being found deceased as she was expected to attend an event. The story cited unnamed sources “close to the Royal Kingdom”, and the author of the post was unnamed. It was soon picked up by another viral Twitter account, BNO News. Lee himself doubled down on the story on his own Twitter account and followed up with a bullet list in an Instagram post, saying that he was on his way to the Kanye West Donda 2 listening event to his followers.
Social media had a field day over the story, which is still present on the Hollywood Unlocked site. Many questioned the fact that Lee, who has been known primarily as someone who publishes stories with a tinge of gossip through his website, would be the first with such information over more established and reputable news outlets like the Associated Press and even TMZ.
Check out some of the more striking comments that were present on Twitter in the gallery below.
As of yet, there has been no comment from Buckingham Palace on the matter.
The writer opined on the situation being notable for its timing, saying, “Jason Lee v. the queen of England’s mortality to salvage what’s left of a miserable Black History Month, bless”
Twitter user Dollar questioned the validity of Lee’s sources:
“Doubling down on an unreliable source is a fool. Jason Lee had y’all thinking he was drinking tea and eating scones with Kate Middleton on FaceTime.”
Oloni alluded to the recent judgment that Cardi B won against blogger Tasha K for defamation with her tweet.
4. The Real Alika
Twitter user The Real Alika saw the humor in the unfolding situation: “Jason Lee said the Queen died getting ready for a black man’s wedding. U cant tell me he’s not going to hell. This was the entertainment I needed man.”
Twitter use2RawTooReal cast their doubts on the reliability of Lee:”Why would y’all trust Hollywood Unlocked & Jason Lee when He got all his fat sucked out of every portion of his body besides his hands 😟”
Their succinct observation got to the heart of what could happen if Lee’s claims were unfounded: “them yt people gone sue the eyebrows of jason lee.
Twitter user OnlyZans brought Prince Andrew’s legal woes into the mix.
Lee’s credibility again was questioned by this Twitter user: “In what world would Jason Lee have intel on the royal palace before other outlets lol”