Fact Check

Did Tom Hanks Say He Would Leave US if Trump Wins 2024 Election?

An X post sharing this claim was viewed more than 1.5 million times.

Published Dec 27, 2023

 (Dick Thomas Johnson / Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via Dick Thomas Johnson / Wikimedia Commons
Claim:
In December 2023, actor Tom Hanks announced that he would leave the United States if Donald Trump becomes president in 2024.

On Dec. 24, 2023, an account on X tweeted a "breaking news" headline claiming that the actor Tom Hanks had announced he would be leaving the United States if Donald Trump was elected president in 2024. According to the view counter on the X platform, the post had been viewed more than 1.5 million times.

Under the tweet, commenters celebrated Hanks' supposed decision, calling him things like "pedo trash" (a reference to baseless conspiracy theories accusing Hanks of being a "Hollywood pedophile") and attempting to link Hanks to the late, disgraced financier and sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein.

According to the account that posted the tweet, it was satire and was not meant to be taken seriously.

"it is Satire come on is that hard to understand Satire," the account replied to one of the few commenters who was critical of the post.

Hanks is among the many celebrities targeted by claims connecting them to rumors of pedophilia. The claims are a part of the large web of QAnon conspiracy theories, which have been circulating since at least 2016. Snopes has thoroughly checked all parts of these rumors and found them to be false.

Hanks would have an easy time leaving the United States for good if he decided to do so — he and his wife, Rita Wilson, have held dual American-Greek citizenship since July 2020. But as previously stated, the account that posted the tweet later clarified it was satire in the replies.

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

Sources

Evon, Dan. “Qurious About QAnon? Get the Facts About This Dangerous Conspiracy Theory.” Snopes, 21 Aug. 2020, https://www.snopes.com/news/2020/08/21/qanon-2020-election/.

“Https://Twitter.Com/Dustinemills24/Status/1738938461673939081.” X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/dustinemills24/status/1738938461673939081. Accessed 27 Dec. 2023.

Ibrahim, Nur. “Is This a Real Pic of Tom Hanks with Gayle King and Oprah as Part of a ‘Black Eye Club’?” Snopes, 17 July 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/tom-hanks-black-eye-oprah-gayle/.

---. “This Is a Fake Pic of Tom Hanks in a ‘Keep America Trumpless’ T-Shirt.” Snopes, 31 July 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/tom-hanks-shirt-america-trump/.

Jayshi, Damakant. “Did BBC Report Tom Hanks Was Arrested for ‘Child Porn Possession’?” Snopes, 10 May 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/bbc-tom-hanks-arrested-child-porn-hoax/.

“Judge Ordered Release of People Named in Court Documents Related to Jeffrey Epstein, Not His Client List.” AP News, 21 Dec. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/fact-check-jeffrey-epstein-list-released-006487910615.

Stanglin, Doug. “Inside Jeffrey Epstein’s New York Mansion: ‘Vast Trove’ of Lewd Photos, a Life-Size Doll and Other Oddities.” USA TODAY, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/10/jeffrey-epstein-inside-billionaires-new-york-mansion/1691137001/. Accessed 27 Dec. 2023.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Officially Become Greek Citizens. 27 July 2020. www.bbc.com, https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-53554002.

Jack Izzo is a Chicago-based journalist and two-time "Jeopardy!" alumnus.