In early August 2017, articles appeared on unreliable web sites reporting that two of the most popular entertainers in pop music, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry, had made public statements asserting that the music industry is run by pedophiles. (Note: We recognize that pedophilia, which is defined as a sexual attraction to children, is not the same as child sexual abuse, although the web sites under discussion do not observe that distinction.)
A YourNewsWire story written by Dmitry Baxter (one of the promulgators of the thoroughly discredited "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory claiming in 2016 that Hillary Clinton and other "Washington elites" ran a pedophile ring out of a pizza restaurant in the nation's capitol) intimated that the reason Bieber canceled the last leg of his 2017 world tour in July was his realization that pedophilia is rampant in the entertainment business:
Justin Bieber told hundreds of people at a Bible study class in Los Angeles that he has “woken up” to the “evils of the music industry” and he needs to take a break from the industry because it is “controlled by the absolute worst kind of people — pedophiles.”
Bieber has become a regular at the Bible study class held at the Montage in Beverly Hills and on Saturday 22nd July he shared what he described as a “horrific story” with the congregation and explained why he felt he had to quit his world tour.
Describing a party on tour — attended by the upper echelon of the music business, including executive VPs of development, producers, power agents and international financiers — Bieber said he was encouraged to sexually abuse a young child who had been bought to the party for the sexual gratification of the industry elite.
One day later, a similar article about Katy Perry was posted on the web site Neon Nettle (another hardcore purveyor of "Pizzagate" rumors, not to mention articles falsely attributing statements about show business pedophilia to actor Brad Pitt and implying connections between the deaths of alt-rockers Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington and music industry child abusers):
In a shocking exposé from one of the biggest pop stars in the world, Katy Perry has dealt a devastating blow to the entertainment world elite by revealing that the entire industry is "controlled" by "sick pedophiles".
The "I Kissed a Girl" singer had left many concerned about her mental state following a series of public breakdowns earlier this year.
She made headlines when she disclosed her suicidal tendencies and exhibited signs of a split personality disorder, saying "I don't want to be Katy Perry anymore".
The article goes on to paint a picture virtually identical to that in the YourNewsWire article of industry pedophiles making up an "exclusive club":
Clearly troubled by the details, she told a group of close friends:
"I can't live this life any longer. They're all pedophiles. What they do to these children is sick."
She continues to elaborate, visibly traumatized by the things she's witnessed:
"And they're every where you go. It's like they're not even trying to hide it. They flaunt it like it's a badge of honor" "The producers, the executives, the big names... They're all in on it"
"It's like an exclusive club that you can only join if you do these evil things to innocent children... And it's not just dirty old men, it's all of them. Even the women."
"They say to me, 'Katy, you need to take the next step in your career', but there's no way I would do those things to kids."
Despite the fact that both stories include elements of truth to shore up their credibility — Justin Bieber did cancel part of his 2017 tour, for example, and Katy Perry did say in a live-streamed therapy session that she doesn't want to be "Katy Perry" anymore (i.e., in the sense of having to live up to fans' expectations) — in neither case are the statements attributed to them about pedophilia sufficiently sourced or corroborated to earn readers' credence. No such statements by Bieber and Perry have been quoted (or even mentioned) by any mainstream news outlets.
On the contrary, these statements are lurid fabrications designed either to garner social media likes and shares (and advertising dollars), or spread disinformation intended to harm the reputations of so-called "Hollywood elites" (a favorite political target of both YourNewsWire and Neon Nettle), or both.
Unfortunately, by disseminating these false stories, the web sites dilute and lend confusion to the impact of actual claims of industry pedophilia made by the likes of former child actors Corey Feldman and Elijah Wood, who have separately gone on record saying the extent to which the sexual abuse of minors occurs in Hollywood is underreported.
Worse, child abuse is one of those emotion-laden topics that can lead to violence, so there's no room for false reporting. One would hope that lessons were learned from the Pizzagate debacle, which resulted in a credulous fake news reader firing an AR-15 rifle inside Washington DC's Comet Ping Pong, a family restaurant; the shooter said he expected to rescue "child sex slaves" from a pedophile ring that does not exist, which was purportedly run out of the restaurant's basement, which also does not exist.
We reached out to representatives of Justin Bieber and Kate Perry for comment, but did not hear back before publication time.