Several videos of Akshay Kumar are being shared online with the false claim that the actor expressed his support for Palestine amid escalating hostilities with Israel.
BOOM found that the videos are doctored by using old and unrelated videos of the actor and dubbing over them. It was not clear who was behind the doctored videos.
The latest casualties of the unrest between Palestine and Israel included a teenager and a mother of two, according to Reuters. After their deaths on April 10, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh was heard saying, "We urge the world to hold this (Israeli) government accountable for its crimes."
The first video of Kumar shows him talking about the wrongful treatment of Palestinians. In the second video, an effect with Palestinian flags on either of his cheeks and an Arabic text reading 'Palestine' are seen on his face and he is heard saying, "I am with Palestinians." Finally, in the third video, a similar effect is used where he is heard thanking Pakistan and all Muslims in the world for supporting Palestine.
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BOOM found that the videos were fabricated and the audio where Kumar is supporting Palestine is doctored and overlaid in other videos of the actor.
A reverse image search of a keyframe from this video on Google led us to several reports published on October 4, 2020. An NDTV article that carried the same visual reported that Kumar spoke up about the drug problem in Bollywood. The report also detailed how Kumar had uploaded this video on his Instagram account following a heated debate around nepotism and drugs in Bollywood after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June the same year.
Check out the video here:
Kumar does not mention Palestine during the whole video. A comparison of the visuals from the viral video and Kumar's Instagram video can be seen here:
We looked for a video with matching visuals on Akshay Kumar's Instagram page and found this video uploaded on June 24, 2022. In the video, Kumar asks his fans and followers to watch 'Jug Jugg Jeeyo', a drama film starring Kiara Advani, Varun Dhawan, Neetu Kapoor, and Anil Kapoor.
Here is a comparison of the two videos:
The Palestinian flag and Arabic text on Kumar's face have been added using an effect called 'Palestine' created by user @soltanos0 on Instagram. The effect is also very popular on TikTok. Here are some other users who used the same effect to create a similar-looking video.
Another video using the same Palestine effect on Kumar's face claims that he thanked Pakistanis for their support to Palestine. A reverse image search of some visuals from this video on Yandex led us to an image without the effect. Additionally, we could see the logos of the Mumbai Police and the Traffic Control Branch on the top.
Using this cleaner visual, we ran a reverse image search on Google again and found a tweet by Mumbai Traffic Police uploaded on January 11, 2023. In the video, Kumar speaks about the importance of traffic rules and road safety on the occasion of National Road Safety Week.
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