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After it was announced that Netflix shelled out $10 million for worldwide distributions rights for a documentary that features newly elected U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the internet erupted.
It didn’t take long for the story to turn into a false claim that Ocasio-Cortez was personally paid the money, which is not true.
On Feb. 12, the Facebook page "We The People," shared an iteration of the rumor saying: "Interesting that a self-described socialist … just took a $10 million payout from Netflix."
The post, which has gained nearly 4,500 shares in just a few days, caption says, "Been in Congress as a ‘public servant’ for a month and she's already a millionaire…"
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Ocasio-Cortez, and the other women featured in the film, are not getting any money from Netflix.
"She is getting zero dollars for the film," Ocasio-Cortez’ spokesperson Corbin Trent told us. "Not $10 million, not $100 million, not $2 million – zero."
The documentary, called "Knock Down The House," documents the campaigns of four progressive female candidates: Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, Paula Jean Swearengin and Ocasio-Cortez, who was the only winner among the group.
The film, directed and produced by Rachel Lears, won the Festival Favorite award at the Sundance Film Festival. Shortly after the win, Netflix acquired the distribution rights for a record $10 million, which was first reported by entertainment news website Deadline Hollywood.
The story quickly spread on the internet, and somewhere along the way turned into Ocasio-Cortez getting the full $10 million "payout" from Netflix.
Ocasio-Cortez does not own the film, and thus, cannot be compensated by any company for a distribution rights deal.
Lears’ production company, Jubilee Films, responded to one of many tweets that accuses Ocasio-Cortez of being a bought politician over the deal.
"FYI, $ for the sale of #KnockDownTheHouse goes to production companies, producers, the sales agent and of course taxes," the production company posted on Twitter. "It means we can give to deserving nonprofits and don’t have to live off credit cards to make our next movie. But it DOESN'T go to @AOC or other candidates!"
It is accurate that Netflix acquired distribution rights for a documentary featuring Ocasio-Cortez, but she did not receive a penny from the deal.
This claim is False.
Facebook post, Feb. 12, 2019
Sundance.org, 2019 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE WINS FESTIVAL FAVORITE AWARD, Feb. 5, 2019
Deadline Hollywood, Sundance Festival Favorite ‘Knock Down The House’ Sold For Record $10 Million; Why This Golden Age For Docus?, Feb. 6, 2019
Chicago Tribune, Netflix just bought a film about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It might be the most ever paid for a Sundance documentary, Feb. 7, 2019
Jubilee Films tweet, Feb. 11, 2019
Phone interview, Corbin Trent, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spokesperson, Feb. 15, 2019
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