Yesterday (Feb. 22), Hollywood Unlocked took to social media to report that, per “sources close to the Royal Palace,” Queen Elizabeth II had passed away. Almost immediately, users on social media criticized the report, as no other media outlet (nor the Royal Family themselves) confirmed the Queen‘s death. Despite this, the original post from Hollywood Unlocked continues to stand on its Instagram account, even with it being flagged by the platform as false. In addition, Hollywood Unlocked owner Jason Lee has responded to the accusations, holding firm on the story as he awaits a direct message from the Royal Palace:
“We don’t post lies and I always stand by my sources. Waiting for an official statement from the palace.”
At some point, an account that was presumed to be Hollywood Unlocked seemed to send out an apology, which was also struck down by Lee:
“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.”
Since then, Twitter users from from both sides of the Atlantic have continued to lambaste Lee and Hollywood Unlocked for accusations of erroneous reporting. One of those users was journalist Ernest Owens, who compared Lee to others that happen to be in similar predicaments:
“PLEASE NOTE: Tasha K, Jason Lee, and DJ Akademiks are bloggers. The “news” they share is like the lottery, you have to roll the dice to hope that it’s true. From lying on Megan Thee Stallion to saying Queen Elizabeth is dead, it’s been JOURNALISTS having to FACT-CHECK them.”
Fellow journalist Lorraine King also spoke on the matter, mentioning a running joke in regards to the Duchess of Sussex:
Check out those and additional tweets below.