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.
NEW: A rumor claiming that Queen Elizabeth II is dead went viral on social media, but a parliamentary official said the reports were false https://t.co/3n6TJtMYTE
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) February 23, 2022
Untangling the Drama Behind Queen Elizabeth II's Death Hoax https://t.co/2aRAZwFUBm
— E! News (@enews) February 23, 2022
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.
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) February 23, 2022
I've seen tweets saying Meghan Markle is the source for the #HollywoodUnlocked story.
Boy oh boy, Meghan really lives rent free in a lot of people's head……
— Lorraine King (@lorrainemking) February 23, 2022
Hollywood Unlocked CEO tripling down on their story claiming that the Queen is dead, says they stand by it and have “never been wrong” https://t.co/wjAHwiyFBk
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) February 23, 2022
hollywood unlocked saying the queen died pic.twitter.com/CPQ9E6Gh3m
— Charlotte (@colombochar) February 22, 2022
— T J 🇬🇩🏴 (@TJPoshpaws) February 23, 2022
The Hollywood unlocked intern after they accidentally posted the Queen Elizabeth draft: pic.twitter.com/PQz1ruGvDn
— 1️⃣2️⃣ (@alli_m2) February 22, 2022
Hollywood Unlocked’s Royal source: pic.twitter.com/zAt6t5h3nj
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 22, 2022
Now who the hell at the Royal palace giving Hollywood Unlocked the exclusive story, yall pls 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/y4jNoaEElW
— We need a longer month 😁 (@WYETTHASSP0KEN) February 22, 2022
Waiting on confirmation from the “royal kingdom”? pic.twitter.com/lUG4ADtwtY
— K Rich (@rich_kimmie) February 22, 2022
You lot believing an IG gossip page that said 'sources close to the royal kingdom'
LMAOOOO you're worse than whatsapp aunties
— Bri 🦖🇩🇲 (@Xhakaed) February 22, 2022
No, but is this what Jason Lee think London looks like? Man said “Royal kingdom”. I don’t think I’ll recover from that😭 pic.twitter.com/pHoTeaI1d0
— ℙ𝕖𝕥𝕥𝕪 𝕃𝕒𝔹𝕖𝕝𝕝𝕖 𝔼𝕤𝕢🦚 (@petttylabelle) February 23, 2022
Man said “sources close to the Royal Kingdom” like this is Shrek . Jason Lee is a menace 😭😭
— Politics For Gorgeous Gorgeous Girls (@blixberrie) February 22, 2022
— MRFA (@kitantai) February 22, 2022