FACT CHECK: Did New Zealand’s Prime Minister Plagiarize ‘Bee Movie’ In Her Harvard Commencement Address?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern plagiarized part of her 2022 commencement speech at Harvard University from the 2007 animated film “Bee Movie.”

Facebook/Screenshot

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

Neither Ardern’s speech nor the movie includes the statement featured in the post. The remarks were part of former President Donald Trump’s 2017 inaugural address.

Fact Check:

Ardern delivered a commencement speech to Harvard University’s 2022 graduating class on May 26, according to The Harvard Gazette. Her speech touched on several political topics, including misinformation and gun violence, the outlet reported.

An image shared on Facebook claims she plagiarized part of it from “Bee Movie.” The image alleges at one point in the speech, she said, “We are one nation — and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.”

Next to this alleged quote in the image is an alleged quote attributed to “Bee Movie” main character Barry B. Benson in which he makes a nearly identical statement, but uses the words “colony” and “hive” instead of “nation” and “home.”

“In NZ we’ve heard it all before, we were charmed at the time and then we saw through it,” reads part of the image’s caption. “It was like watching a Bee movie.”

The claim is incorrect. Check Your Fact reviewed Ardern’s entire speech, which is available on YouTube, but found no evidence she made the statement attributed to her in the post. The purported remark is also absent from the address’ prepared text.

There is likewise no evidence such a remark was included in “Bee Movie.” There is no record of it in the film’s script, which can be found on scripts.com(RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show A New Zealand Billboard About Booking A ‘Christmas Booster’ For ‘Six Months Worth Of Freedoms’)

An internet search reveals the statement was actually made by Trump during his January 2017 inaugural address, according to a transcript of the address.

This is not the first time this specific quote has been falsely attributed to “Bee Movie.” Check Your Fact corrected a false rumor in 2020 that alleged Trump stole the words from the movie.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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