On July 26, 2023, a purported celebrity news YouTube channel, Drama Bay, published a new video with a thumbnail image that showed actor Mark Wahlberg and the poster for "Sound of Freedom," a film centered on child sex trafficking. The thumbnail also displayed the words, "Enough Is Enough," an apparent quote that referenced the video's title, "5 MINUTES AGO: Mark Wahlberg Exposes the Evil Hollywood for Blacklisting 'Sound Of Freedom.'"
As of Aug. 3, the video had already received nearly 4 million views.
There's no evidence that Wahlberg ever made these remarks about "Sound of Freedom."
However, we found no evidence that Wahlberg had ever publicly spoken about "Sound of Freedom," nor did we locate documentation that showed he had said "enough is enough" about "the evil Hollywood," as referenced in the video's title.
Disclaimer and AI-Generated Narration
The bottom of the description under the YouTube video warned viewers that its content might not be true:
Disclaimer: Content might be gossip, rumors, exaggerated or indirectly besides the truth. Viewer advised to do own research before forming their opinion. Content might be opinionated.
Also, the video in question appeared to feature narration from a voice that had been generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) tool.
Commenters who praised Wahlberg for speaking out about things he never said did not seem to remark about the narration being fake.
'Nowhere Left to Hide'
At the 4:03 mark in the YouTube video, displayed on screen was a screenshot from an online article that showed the headline, "Mark Wahlberg: Hollywood Pedophiles Have 'Nowhere Left To Hide.'"
According to the article, Wahlberg made remarks about "blood drinking pedophiles" in Hollywood in front of "hundreds of people at a Sunday school meeting in Los Angeles."
However, the screenshot of the article that appeared in the video showed a large label that said it was "fake."
It's unclear if the creator of the video noticed the "fake" label.
This screenshot with the "fake" label originally came from a tweet that had been posted by BBC Verify journalist Shayan Sardarizadeh. In Sardarizadeh's tweet, he mentioned that former Fox News and "60 Minutes" reporter Lara Logan appeared to believe the article was real, having shared it to her followers. He also said, "The People's Voice, aka YourNewsWire, [is] one of the biggest fake news websites on the internet."
'American Heroes' with 'Balls of Steel'
Despite the "fake" label that was displayed on top of the article screenshot, the YouTube video's narrator continued on as if the story was real.
At the 5:08 mark in the video, a quote from the article was read by the narrator that claimed Wahlberg said "Sound of Freedom" actor Jim Caviezel, as well as Mel Gibson, who had promoted the film but was not involved in its creation, were "'American heroes' with 'balls of steel' for daring to take on the Hollywood system and play their part in raising awareness about the scourge of elite pedophilia in the entertainment industry."
However, at the 5:33 mark in the video, the narrator said that everything they had just talked about, apparently including the remarks in the video's title and thumbnail image, was fake.
"This news was remarked as fake," the narrator said. "Nevertheless, there is currently no substantiated evidence to support the claim that Wahlberg made such a statement, and his representative has categorically denied any association with it."
Wahlberg Rep Says 'Completely False'
In reporting from PolitiFact, the site noted that the picture of Wahlberg used in the article was from 2017 and had nothing to do with the subject.
We reached out directly to Wahlberg to ask about the YouTube video, but did not receive a response within two days.
Other popular YouTube videos that seemed to come from the same network of bogus celebrity news sites included the following misleading titles: "7 MINUTES AGO: Mark Wahlberg Shares New TERRIFYING Details About Hollywood," "Hollywood FREAKS OUT After Mel Gibson & Mark Wahlberg DESTROY Them," and "Mark Wahlberg CONFRONTS Hollywood For Blacklisting 'Sound Of Freedom.'"
We previously published a similar story about a rumor that falsely claimed Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey had also made remarks about "Sound of Freedom" and Hollywood.