Fact Check

No, Michael Jordan Didn't Turn Down $120M Ad Deal with Disney

Articles claimed the basketball legend had turned down the offer to protect his reputation.

Published Jan 4, 2024

 (Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Image Via Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images
Claim:
Michael Jordan turned down a $120 million offer from Disney "to be the new name and face of the company."

In January 2024, the Facebook account America's Last Line Of Defense posted that Michael Jordan had turned down a $120 million ad campaign with Disney because he wanted to keep his reputation. "MJ is a legend," the Facebook post was captioned. "He doesn't need Disney to ruin it." At the time of this writing, the post had over 3,500 reactions on the social media platform.

The Facebook account linked an article from the Latherland website in the post's comment section that further made the claim. The article began:

Michael Jordan Chooses His Reputation Over Disney’s $120 Million Partnership Offer

Michael Jordan turned down a $120 million offer from Disney to be the new name and face of the company.

The Walt Disney Corporation is trying desperately to rebrand itself after its time with “wokeness” backfired.

In the span of just under two years, the parks emptied as guests dropped their reservations, their movies flopped after being re-written to cater to a fraction of a percentage of Americans, and the CEO they replaced was forced to come back to right the sinking ship.

The big plan was to get some huge names to back the company on its path back to family values. Unfortunately, the number one name and the only man who could have made it work said no.

The bottom of the Latherland article said that it was reprinted with permission from The Dunning-Kruger Times. The original article previously spread on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and at least two other websites published the article by The Dunning-Kruger Times word-for-word.

We've repeatedly fact-checked rumors that stem from Latherland and The Dunning-Kruger Times, which are both subsidiaries of the satire network America's Last Line of Defense. Both websites have the following disclaimers on their respective "About Us" pages:

About Satire

Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":

sat·ire ˈsaˌtī(ə)r noun: The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, OR ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.

The fake article about Jordan cited "Joe Barron" as the basketball legend's spokesperson. The website used that name for characters in its fictional stories previously, including in an article that claimed "The View" settled with Kyle Rittenhouse for $22 million. In that story, "Joe Barron" was Rittenhouse's spokesman.

At the time of publication, there was no evidence that Jordan turned down a $120 million offer to partner with Disney on an advertising campaign. No reputable news publications reported on any such deal.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

Sources

"About Us." Dunning-Kruger-Times.Com, http://box5884.temp.domains/~dunning2/dunningkrugertimes/29-2/. Accessed 10 Apr. 2023.

Emery, David. "Did 'The View' Settle with Rittenhouse for $22 Million?" Snopes, 26 May 2022, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/the-view-settles-rittenhouse-22-million/.

Payne, Ed. "Fact Check: Website Claiming Disney Shareholders Panicked After $2.4 Billion In Losses In One Day Is Satiric."  Lead Stories. 8 Apr. 2022, https://leadstories.com/hoax-alert/2022/04/fact-check-website-claiming-disney-shareholders-panicked-after-2-point-4-billion-in-losses-in-one-day-is-satiric.html.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.