On 29 October 2017, the disreputable web site Your News Wire published a fake news article which contained several (fictitious) quotes from actor Morgan Freeman about his (fictitious) desire to imprison Hillary Clinton:
The best way to restore public faith in government institutions is to “send Hillary to prison“, according to Hollywood icon Morgan Freeman, who warns that unless the former First Lady’s crimes are seen to be punished, “everyday Americans will forever know, deep down, that there is one law for those with money and power, and another for the rest of us.”
“Hillary should be in jail for her unlawful deeds and President Trump should absolutely, absolutely make sure this happens to send the very strong message that no-one, and I mean no-one, is above the law in the United States of America,” Morgan Freeman said in New York while promoting National Geographic’s new docu-series The Story of Us.
This is not a genuine quote from Morgan Freeman; YourNewsWire.com is a particularly vicious fake news blog that has a long history of publishing corrosive misinformation. The site claims that the actor made this comment while promoting his new documentary series “The Story of Us” during an event in New York, but, naturally, provided no video from the event containing Morgan’s alleged remarks, as none exists.
Furthermore, the “Story of Us” premiere was held on 28 September 2017, more than a month before Your News Wire published this article. It is possible that Freeman held additional promotional events (although it would be odd for the press tour to continue long after the premiere), but we could not find any news articles regarding a promotional event in New York for the series near this article’s publication date.
It is also unlikely that Freeman would ever suggest the idea that President Donald Trump should imprison Hillary Clinton. The actor openly supported of the Democratic candidate and even narrated several political ads for Clinton.
Despite the fact that Morgan Freeman never said that Hillary Clinton should be imprisoned, the fake quote was picked up by a number of disreputable sources, such as the “Punisher’s Patriot News Watch” Facebook page and the web site nnettle.com. Actor James Woods also helped popularize this fake quote on Twitter. (Wood’s tweet has since been deleted.)
Although Your News Wire used a fake quote as the basis for their article, they did mention a genuine quote from Morgan Freeman in their concluding paragraphs. Freeman appeared in a video for the Committee to Investigate Russia, where he asked Trump to “tell us the truth”:
Mele, Christopher. “Morgan Freeman Angers Russians Over Video About 2016 Election.”
New York Times. 22 September 2017.