Fact Check

Sylvester Stallone Refused to Work with Robert De Niro for Being 'Woke'?

A viral post claims Sylvester Stallone turned down a $1 billion project because he doesn't "work with woke people."

Published March 1, 2024

 ( Getty Images)
Image courtesy of Getty Images
A Facebook post accurately reported in early 2024 that actor Sylvester Stallone backed out of a project with Robert De Niro because De Niro is "too woke."

In early 2024, Facebook account SpaceX Fanclub published an image purporting that actor Sylvester Stallone backed out of a $1 billion project with Robert De Niro because Stallone doesn't "work with woke people."

(Facebook page SpaceX Fanclub)

The post had garnered 108,000 likes, 13,000 comments and 11,000 shares at the time of this writing. Commenters expressed their support for Stallone, with one exclaiming "Stallone for the winnnnnnn!!!!!" and another calling for De Niro to leave the United States: "Comrade Deniro. Go back to Russia."

The pinned comment on the Facebook post linked to a story on Esspots.com that began:

Breaking: Sylvester Stallone Withdraws from $1 Billion Project With "Creepy" Robert De Niro

In a surprising turn of events, Hollywood is abuzz with the news that Sylvester Stallone has decided to withdraw from a colossal $1 billion project featuring Robert De Niro. The unexpected departure is not only making headlines for its financial implications but also for the use of terms like "too much woke" and "creepy" to describe De Niro. 

However, this story was not a factual recounting of real-life events. It originated on a website that describes its output as being humorous or satirical in nature:

Welcome to Esspots.com, a website that specializes in satire, parody, and humor. Before you proceed to read our content, we would like to emphasize that nothing on this website is real. All of the articles, stories, and commentary found on Esspots.com are entirely fictitious and created for the purpose of entertainment only.

Our articles and stories often use exaggeration, irony, and sarcasm to make a point, and should not be taken seriously. We do not endorse any political or social views presented on this website, and our content is not meant to be a substitute for actual news or information.

The Facebook account that shared the viral post had a similar disclaimer on its main page:

We post SATIRE, nothing on this page is real.

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


Robin, Alex. 'Breaking: Sylvester Stallone Withdraws from $1 Billion Project With "Creepy" Robert De Niro'. Esspots, 9 Dec. 2023, https://esspots.com/breaking-sylvester-stallone-withdraws-from-1-billion-project-with-creepy-robert-de-niro144/. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

'Disclaimer'. Esspots, https://esspots.com/disclaimer/. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Anna Rascouët-Paz is based in Brooklyn, fluent in numerous languages and specializes in science and economic topics.