Social media posts claiming Pfizer orchestrated Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars to promote its drug against alopecia, are false with the drugmaker rubbishing the same.
The conspiracy theory was started by Twitter user Justin Hart. This is not the first time that Hart has tweeted about conspiracies surrounding Pfizer. Hart, who runs a blog claiming to debunk COVID-19 misinformation, has written many articles against COVID-19 vaccination.
Hart claimed that there is a rumour suggesting that the slap was staged as the pharmaceutical giant wanted to promote its upcoming drug to treat alopecia.
Will Smith made headlines at the 94th Academy Awards after he stormed on to the stage and slapped stand-up comic Chris Rock after the latter made a joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head. Jada suffers from an autoimmune disorder called alopecia areata, which leads to constant hair loss.
The text of Justin Hart's tweet is also being shared on Facebook alleging that the incident was a PR stunt for Pfizer.
Hart's tweet alludes to the fact that Pfizer is launching a drug to act against alopecia.
On March 23, Pfizer shared a press release announcing the results of its Phase 3 trial for a drug called etrasimod on Ulcerative Colitus, an inflammatory disease of the bowel. This drug is also being investigated for alopecia areata as well as other immuno-inflammatory medicines such as Crohn's disease.
However, the drug has not officially been launched for use as a treatment for hair loss. The latest release shared by Pfizer is for the drug's action on colitus.
Pfizer intends to launch etrasimod to treat alopecia to compete against Bristol Myers Squibb's Zeposia which is also an immuno-inflammatory medicine.
BOOM also reached out to Pfizer for a comment. A spokesperson denied that the incident was staged. However, the spokesperson agreed that Pfizer was a co-sponsor of the Oscars this year.
"There is absolutely no connection, and to imply it is absurd," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson in an emailed comment also said, "Pfizer is proud to support the Oscars and we are heartened to see the film industry gather in-person and alongside fans to celebrate the talent and artistry produced during the past year. The available data continue to show that broad utilization of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters can help prevent disease and protect lives, and our sponsorship highlights the impact they can have for individuals pursuing their livelihoods."
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