FACT CHECK: Did Olive Garden Revoke Sean Hannity’s Lifetime Pasta Pass?
An image shared on Facebook claims the restaurant chain Olive Garden revoked Fox News host Sean Hannity’s Lifetime Pasta Pass following the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.
“Never go to Olive Garden Again,” reads the caption.
The Twitter user who originally shared the image clarified that he created it as a joke. Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Olive Garden, confirmed that the statement is fake.
Rioters supporting President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 in an attempt to halt the certification process of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Following the Capitol riot, numerous social media users shared an alleged statement from Olive Garden announcing the revocation of Hannity’s Lifetime Pasta Pass and several other guests’ Never Ending Pasta Passes. The supposed statement, which features Olive Garden’s logo at the top, links the alleged pass revocations to the storming of the Capitol.
“In response, Olive Garden has invalidated our Never Ending Pasta Pass for several guests and revoked a Lifetime Pasta Pass for Sean Hannity,” the supposed statement reads in part. (RELATED: Did Olive Garden Ban Employees From Wearing American Flag Face Masks?)
There is, however, no record of Olive Garden announcing that it “revoked a Lifetime Pasta Pass for Sean Hannity.” Olive Garden and its parent company Darden Restaurants have not put out a press release to that effect on their respective websites, and the alleged announcement does not appear on Olive Garden’s verified Twitter account. Darden Restaurants confirmed to Check Your Fact that it is fake.
The image originated in a tweet from the verified Twitter user and Portland designer Louie Mantia Jr. In a Jan. 8 Twitter thread, Mantia clarified that he made the fake statement as a joke and has since deleted it.
This morning I made a “social media statement”-style joke image as if it had come from Olive Garden, and I want to talk about why I made it and why I deleted it.
Just so I’m abundantly clear: it’s not a real statement. pic.twitter.com/hTf2ymub5P
— Louie Mantia, Jr. (@Mantia) January 8, 2021
“This morning I made a ‘social media statement’-style joke image as if it had come from Olive Garden, and I want to talk about why I made it and why I deleted it,” he tweeted. “Just so I’m abundantly clear: it’s not a real statement.”
Mantia appeared to cite comments from CNN host Anderson Cooper and Hannity as part of his inspiration for the fake Olive Garden statement. Hannity said on his show that he liked Olive Garden after Cooper seemingly quipped that the Capitol Hill rioters would “go back to the Olive Garden and to the Holiday Inn they’re staying at,” according to Bloomberg. Cooper clarified on Friday that he was “not dissing” the restaurant chain and that he was “trying to remark about the seemingly casualness of the behavior that we were all witnessing at that moment after the attack.”
Hannity also addressed the fake Olive Garden statement on his show, saying that social media claims that he had lost a Lifetime Pasta Pass were “not true,” according to Vox. It’s unclear if Hannity held a Lifetime Pasta Pass.