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President Donald Trump listens during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington on March 8, 2018. (AP/Vucci) President Donald Trump listens during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington on March 8, 2018. (AP/Vucci)

President Donald Trump listens during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington on March 8, 2018. (AP/Vucci)

Bill McCarthy
By Bill McCarthy January 2, 2020

Canadian broadcaster’s cut of Trump’s ‘Home Alone 2’ cameo done in 2014, not politically motivated

Conservatives slammed Canada’s leading public broadcaster this holiday season for cutting President Donald Trump’s cameo out of its broadcast of "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York." 

But what many writers and social media users chalked up to anti-Trump bias was actually the result of a standard edit made five years ago, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said.

Some headlines generating buzz on social media omitted this context.

"CBC cuts Donald Trump’s ‘Home Alone 2’ cameo out of broadcast," said a Dec. 25 headline from PJ Media, a conservative opinion and commentary outlet.

This story 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.)

According to the PJ Media article, the CBC’s claim that Trump’s roughly seven-second appearance was edited out to allow for commercial time "fails to pass the smell test." 

"Trump's presidential bid appears to be the beginning of the folks at the CBC being triggered by Trump so badly that they actually had to edit him out of their broadcast," the article said.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation acknowledged scrapping Trump’s cameo from its 2019 broadcast, but there’s no evidence that the cut was made for political reasons.

"The CBC admitted that Trump was cut out of the scene," said Paula Bolyard, PJ Media’s managing editor, in an email to PolitiFact. "(Writer) Matt Margolis speculated that perhaps there was more to it than that, but left open the possibility that the CBC is telling the truth."

The CBC said time was the issue

Trump’s appearance in the original version of the 1992 movie is brief, lasting roughly seven seconds. 

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The scene shows protagonist Kevin McCallister, played by actor Macaulay Culkin, asking Trump for directions to the lobby of a New York City hotel.

CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson said the scene was one of several deleted when the broadcaster acquired the rights to the film in 2014. 

He said the edits were made to make way for commercials, as is standard operating procedure when movies move from the big screen to the small screen.

"As is often the case with feature films adapted for television, Home Alone 2 was edited for time," Thompson said. "The scene with Donald Trump was one of several that were cut from the movie as none of them were integral to the plot."

CNN reporter Daniel Dale noted that viewers on social media have been complaining about the broadcaster’s omission of Trump’s scene and other scenes not involving Trump for years.

Trump — who also weighed in on the controversy on Twitter — announced his bid for the presidency in June 2015 and was elected to office in November 2016.

 
Our ruling

PJ Media said, "CBC cuts Donald Trump’s ‘Home Alone 2’ cameo out of broadcast."

It’s true that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation left Trump’s brief cameo out of its 2019 rebroadcast of the 1992 film. But the edit was made in 2014 to make room for commercials.

We rate this statement Half True.

Our Sources

PJ Media, "CBC Cuts Donald Trump's 'Home Alone 2' Cameo Out of Broadcast," Dec. 25, 2019

Donald J. Trump on Twitter, Dec. 26, 2019

Donald Trump Jr. on Instagram, Dec. 27, 2019

Daniel Dale on Twitter, Dec. 26, 2019

Colt McCaullany on Twitter, Dec. 22, 2015

CBC, "CBC edit of Trump scene from Home Alone 2 was done in 2014," Dec. 26, 2019

Snopes, "Was Donald Trump Cut from ‘Home Alone 2’ for Political Reasons?" Dec. 26, 2019

Email interview with Paula Bolyard, managing editor at PJ Media, Dec. 30, 2019

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More by Bill McCarthy

Canadian broadcaster’s cut of Trump’s ‘Home Alone 2’ cameo done in 2014, not politically motivated

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