Fact Check

Briefcase Changes Color from Red to Green on TV, Explained

Sky News explained what happened with the purported "Matrix glitch."

Published Nov 3, 2021

A politician's briefcase purportedly changes color from red to green after he passed a park car on TV on Sky News in a TikTok video. (Sky News)
A politician's briefcase purportedly changes color from red to green after he passed a park car on TV on Sky News in a TikTok video.
A politician's briefcase "inexplicably" changed colors from red to green after he passed a parked car.

On Nov. 2, the @officialkeanureeves_ TikTok channel posted a video of three purported "Matrix glitches." The first clip supposedly showed a politician walking with a red briefcase that "inexplicably" changed to green after he passed a parked car.

Our research for this claim led us to the name Rishi Sunak, Britain's treasury chief and Chancellor of the Exchequer. He's the man who was holding the budget briefcase in the video. AFP referred to it as a "red budget box" in a different video.

The video in question was posted by the Sky News YouTube account on March 11, 2020. This was right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic for many countries.

While it does appear that Sunak's briefcase changed colors from red to green, Indy100 reported that the matter was much simpler. It had nothing to do with a "Matrix glitch."

Jonathan Samuels, a presenter for Sky News, explained on Twitter that it was a creative choice made in editing to align with the voiceover script, which read as follows: "It's a critical year for tackling climate change, and the government is committed to reaching net zero by 2050. But how much will coronavirus impact what many believe would be a green budget?"

Rhiannon Williams, a producer for Sky News, also explained the editing choice.

In other words, the briefcase did not actually change colors from red to green, nor was a switch made behind the parked car. In reality, it was always red, and was simply changed by a video editor for a news report. We extend credit to HoaxEye for pointing us to Williams' tweet.

As for the other "Matrix glitches" in the TikTok video, the glass moving across the table was likely caused by nothing more than condensation on the smooth surface. The presenter on the television program grabbed the table with his left hand right before the glass shifted to his right.

We also published a separate fact check about the Pope's purported disappearance, the last "Matrix glitch" seen in the TikTok video.


British Chancellor Rishi Sunak Presents the Budget Red Box | AFP. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy-rDEFLSzA.
“Investors Bet Big on Climate Fight but Motives Questioned.” AP News, 3 Nov. 2021, https://apnews.com/article/climate-science-business-europe-environment-and-nature-cb368ade2c379ebd616c49e90e3f6b87.
“Green Budget.” HoaxEye, 17 Apr. 2020, https://hoaxeye.com/2020/04/17/green-budget/.
Rishi Sunak’s Budget Briefcase Just Changed Colour on Live Television and No One Can Work out How. Indy 100. 11 Mar. 2020, https://www.indy100.com/news/rishi-sunak-chancellor-budget-2020-briefcase-folder-red-green-video-9393576.
“The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP.” gov.uk, https://www.gov.uk/government/people/rishi-sunak.
Will the Budget Tackle Climate Change? Sky News YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELrn0mmZnGE.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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