FACT CHECK: Did LeBron James Blame Systemic Racism For ‘Space Jam 2’s’ Low Box Office Numbers?
A post shared on Facebook claims NBA player LeBron James blamed systemic racism for “Space Jam: A New Legacy’s” low box office numbers.
There is no evidence James said the statement attributed to him. The claim appears to originate from a parody Twitter account.
“Space Jam: A New Legacy,” which stars James, made over $31.65 million its opening weekend, Forbes reported. The movie has grossed over $135 million in domestic and international sales to date, according to Box Office Mojo. The Facebook image shows what appears to be a screenshot of a tweet from BBC News claiming James said the reason for low box office sales is because of systemic racism.
“BREAKING: Lebron James blames disappointing SPACE JAM 2 numbers on the ‘long history of systemic racism at the box office,'” reads the tweet. (RELATED: Did Joe Biden Pardon Ted Kaczynski?)
There is no evidence, however, James blamed systemic racism for his movie’s box office numbers. A search of James’ verified social media accounts turned up no instances of such a comment. Had the basketball player said systemic racism was the reason “Space Jam: A New Legacy” had disappointing box office numbers, media outlets likely would have reported on it, yet none have.
The tweet did not stem from BBC News. The outlet’s Twitter account has a blue verification checkmark, indicating it is the authentic BBC News account, whereas the account shown in the Facebook post does not. Nothing resembling the tweet could be found on the genuine, verified, BBC News Twitter account. Nor is there any mention of James saying the quote on the outlet’s website.
A closer look at the screen grab shows the tweet was sent by the Twitter account @BBCNewsButGayer, which stated in its bio that “this is a parody account.” The account has since been suspended by Twitter for violating its platform rules.
“Space Jam,” which starred retired basketball player Michael Jordan and was released in 1996, earned $230 million at the box office worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.