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Politics Fact Check: Claim about source of Trump's inaugural address is part of 'Bee Movie' hoax

22:31  18 september  2020
22:31  18 september  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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Claim: Trump plagiarized his inaugural address from the 'Bee Movie' script

"Bee Movie" has inspired some strange content. Between Jerry Seinfeld flying over the Cannes Film Festival in a bee costume and a viral video that speeds up the film every time a character said "bee," the 2007 film became one of meme culture's favorite tropes. Somewhere along the way, presidential matters became part of that joke.

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“You know your country is in trouble when your president steals his inauguration speech from bee movie,” states a meme Antwan Morrison posted on Facebook on Aug. 31.

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The meme shows side-by-side excerpts of what it claims to be the "Bee Movie" script and Trump’s 2017 inaugural address.

“We are one nation — and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny,” states the excerpt under Trump’s photo.

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In the meme's corresponding passage under "Bee Movie," character Barry B. Benson mirrors those words almost exactly, replacing “nation” with “colony.”

"Bee Movie," follows Benson’s lawsuit against humans for eating honey. The script from the animated family comedy is far from presidential.

Morrison did not respond USA TODAY's request for comment.

Jerry Seinfeld holding a sign: Jerry Seinfeld poses for photographers during the presentation of © Sergio Barrenchea, AP Jerry Seinfeld poses for photographers during the presentation of "Bee Movie" in Madrid on Nov.28, 2007.

Quote is not from 'Bee Movie' script

The White House’s inaugural address transcript shows Trump did say the words quoted in the meme, but he did not plagiarize it from "Bee Movie." The excerpt quoted in the meme is not part of the film's script that is publicly available on multiple websites.

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An old, yet persistent, joke

This meme has made its rounds on the internet, shared hundreds of times across social media platforms since Trump’s inauguration day on Jan. 20, 2017. Similar claims purporting that Trump plagiarized his speech from "Avatar" and "Batman" began circulating at the same time.

The joke emerged nearly a year after first lady Melania Trump was accused of plagiarizing her 2016 Republican National Convention speech from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech.

Despite fact-checkers' efforts to debunk the "Bee Movie" hoax, nearly four years later the image continues to circulate online and entertain Trump’s critics.

More: Fact check: Altered video clip purports to show Joe Biden asleep on live TV

Our ruling: False

President Donald Trump did not plagiarize the "Bee Movie" script in his inaugural address. The long-lived meme that claims he did correctly quotes the inaugural address and fabricates a quote from the film to match it. We rate the claim FALSE.

Our fact-check sources:

  • YouTube, Butter box, Jan. 14, 2017, "The Entire Bee Movie but every time it says bee it speeds up by 15%"
  • YouTube, laboiteafilms, May 22, 2007, "Jerry Seinfeld fly at Cannes"
  • New York Magazine, Nov. 2, 2017, "A Complete History of Bee Movie’s Many, Many Memes"
  • Antwan Morrison's Aug. 31 Facebook Post
  • IMDB, 2007, "Bee Movie"
  • The White House, Jan. 20, 2017, "The Inaugural Address"
  • YouTube, C-SPAN, Jan. 20, 2017, "President Donald Trump Inaugural Address FULL SPEECH (C-SPAN)"
  • Fandom, "Bee Movie/Transcript"
  • web.njit.edu, "The Entire Bee Movie Script"
  • Scripts.com, "Bee Movie"
  • BuzzFeed News, Jan. 21, 2017, "Donald Trump Did Not Quote "Bee Movie" In His Inaugural Address"
  • Jacksonville.com,  Jan. 28, 2017, "Fact Check: Did Trump plagiarize from two movies?"
  • Jezebel, Jan. 20, 2017, "Donald Trump Plagiarized Bane in His Inaugural Speech"
  • USA TODAY, Jul. 19, 2016, "Was Melania Trump's speech plagiarized from Michelle Obama?"
  • Snopes, Jan. 21, 2017, "Did Trump Plagiarize His Inaugural Address from ‘Bee Movie’ and ‘Avatar?’"
  • Check Your Fact, Sep. 3, "FACT CHECK: DID DONALD TRUMP PLAGIARIZE THE ‘BEE MOVIE’ IN HIS INAUGURAL ADDRESS?"
  • Reuters, Sept. 8, "Fact check: Trump’s speech was not copied from Bee Movie"

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact Check: Claim about source of Trump's inaugural address is part of 'Bee Movie' hoax

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usr: 3
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