Hollywood Unlocked is under fire for claiming that Queen Elizabeth died on February 22.
The entertainment blog founded by Jason Lee falsely claimed to have exclusive knowledge.
Hollywood Unlocked reports primarily about US celebrities and does not cover Royal Family news.
Despite no announcement or confirmation from any other source, the Instagram blog has doubled down on its claim.
On Sunday, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen had tested positive for Covid and was experiencing mild cold symptoms and is expected to continue light duties this week, according to Reuters.
Follow-up reporting on Monsters and Critics revealed that the Queen had canceled all virtual meetings as she battles the virus.
This has led to speculation about her health and concern for her wellbeing.
Hollywood Unlocked founder Jason Lee doubles down
Jason Lee, a gossip blogger who appeared on Love & Hip Hop, is Hollywood Unlocked’s founder.
Their Instagram page has 2.8 million followers and wrote the following report claiming to have exclusive knowledge the 95-year-old Queen of the United Kingdom has died.
“Sources close to the Royal Palace notified us exclusively that #QueenElizabeth has passed away. She was scheduled to attend the wedding of British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, but was found dead. Story developing. 🙏🏾❤️,” the caption reads alongside a photo of the British head of state.
Amid mounting backlash, the Instagram blog’s founder Jason Lee has doubled down.
“We don’t post lies and I always stand by my sources. Waiting for an official statement from the palace,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
The blog also wrote a follow-up post regarding Operation London Bridge, which is a plan for what would happen with Queen Elizabeth had passed away.
A fake Hollywood Unlocked Twitter account posted an apology that some news outlets, including Variety, picked up.
The apology says: “Our deepest apologies goes out to the #RoyalFamily and all involved in this embarrassing situation. It was an accident and we’re working hard to make sure that this mistake never happens again. The intern journalist was misinformed and published the draft post by mistake. – HU”
The fake Twitter account is still active, but the tweet has been deleted.
Lee also confirmed it is fake in a follow-up tweet, which essentially is tripling down on their claim.
“Woke up to some fake account posting a retraction. We do not know that account and we have not retracted our story. There has yet to be an official statement from the Palace. Staying tuned.”
Hollywood Unlocked gets roasted for their false report
The Hollywood Unlocked claim about the Queen’s death has led to widespread backlash, mockery, and disbelief on social media.
“Now who the hell at the Royal palace giving Hollywood Unlocked the exclusive story, yall pls 😭😭,” one tweet wrote.
Another shared a video mocking their reporting as mere gossip.
Several memes target the blog, mocking and speculating that they will face a penalty for the false reporting.
Buckingham Palace has not responded to the rumors but rarely releases statements concerning Queen Elizabeth’s health.