FACT CHECK: Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Wear This Pro-Ukrainian T-Shirt?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows former California governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing a pro-Ukrainian t-shirt.

Verdict: False

The image is digitally altered. The original photo was taken in 2014 and shows Schwarzenegger wearing a plain t-shirt.

Fact Check: 

Schwarzenegger recently appeared virtually at a conference of European leaders in Vienna, Austria, where he criticized them for accepting Russian oil imports amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Australian-based news outlet 9News. The Austrian-born former governor stated world leaders had “blood on their hands” for financing the war, the outlet reported.

The Facebook image shows a screen grab of a tweet that features a photo of Schwarzenegger wearing a t-shirt with an outline of the Crimea peninsula and the words, “I’ll be back,” a reference to a line from Schwarzenegger’s character in the “The Terminator.” The tweet itself has received over 1,800 retweets and 16,600 likes as of publishing time.

The image is digitally altered. A reverse image search reveals the original photo can be found on the stock photo website Alamy and shows Schwarzenegger walking with actor Sylvester Stallone. Notably, there are no symbols or words on Schwarzenegger’s shirt in this version of the photo.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone after having lunch in Beverly Hills Beverly Hills, California – 30.06.12,” reads the image description, suggesting it was taken well before Russia’s annexation of the Crimea in 2014. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Ukrainian Forces Destroying Eight Russian Tanks?)

While the image is altered, Schwarzenegger has spoken out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He released a nine-minute video in March in which he addressed Russian citizens about their government’s disinformation about the conflict, according to BBC News.

This is not the first time an image of a celebrity has been photoshopped to include a political message. Check Your Fact recently debunked a photo that purportedly showed Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wearing an anti-Trump shirt.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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