Viral video fakes airline passenger freaking out over unvaccinated person

Don't expect any Academy Awards for this performance.

Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is a Texas native who covered video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
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Oscar Gonzalez
2 min read
This viral video is fake

This viral video was staged.

JPC Film

Videos of people freaking out on planes over mask rules are nothing new at this point in the pandemic. But in recent weeks, a video showing a woman on a plane apparently throwing a fit over an unvaccinated passenger has been catching fire on social media. The difference is that this new anti-vaccine video is fake. 

In the staged video, taken from the perspective of someone recording via their phone, a woman on a plane complains to a flight attendant about having to sit next to someone who is unvaccinated. Then the pilot appears, saying no one will be discriminated against. This leads to a wave of applause from the other people on the plane. 

Twitter account HoaxEye earlier spotted that the video was not only scripted and staged, but it actually had its own IMDB page listed under the name "COVID Flight." The director credited in IMDB, Jamie Hull-Greenwood, reportedly posted a picture with the actors on his Instagram account last month. The image has since been deleted and the account turned private. 

Two production companies are listed as behind the making of the video: JPC Film and Make Smart Cool. Richard Williams, also known as PrinceEA, is an executive producer for the video and first shared it on Nov. 1 on his Facebook page, where it has been viewed more than 24 million times. A TikTok post featuring the video has been liked by more than 4 million viewers. 

Some people who appear to be opposed to COVID-19 vaccines continue to share the video, either not realizing or intentionally omitting that it was staged and not a real-life incident. The video has been used as a counter to the multitude of videos on planes and in airports of people having outbursts over mask rules airlines have implemented. The Federal Aviation Administration reported more than 3,700 mask-related incidents of unruly passengers so far this year and has begun sending the most egregious to the FBI for further investigation. 

COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing death and hospitalization and have been deemed safe by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and numerous public health agencies across the globe. 

Williams and JPC Film didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.