Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke July 24, 2023

Video doesn’t show Mel Gibson seeking protection from ‘Hollywood elite’ after ‘Sound of Freedom’

If Your Time is short

  • This claim conflates two different events: the 2023 release of a movie and a 1998 interview in which actor Mel Gibson talks about Hollywood. He doesn’t cry "for protection from Hollywood elite."

Misinformation has followed the release of "Sound of Freedom," a faith-based thriller about former Homeland Security agent Tim Ballard’s anti-child trafficking efforts in Colombia.

We’ve already debunked a claim that AMC is intentionally deterring people from seeing the movie. 

Another allegation spreading on social media suggests actor Mel Gibson is being persecuted because of the film. 

"7 MINUTES AGO: Mel Gibson Cries For PROTECTION From Hollywood Elite After Sound of Freedom," reads the caption of a nearly 11-minute video in a July 23 Facebook post.

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The video in the post features clips from old Gibson interviews and a narrator who essentially plagiarizes a July 13 Newsweek article, following the structure of the story and repeating some sentences verbatim while rephrasing others with stronger language. 

Featured Fact-check

The Newsweek article recounts an interview Gibson gave in 1998, and this appears to be the supposed cry for protection alluded to in the Facebook post — though it came 25 years before "Sound of Freedom" was released.

Segments of that interview have drawn attention in recent days. On July 9, Elijah Schaffer, host of the podcast "Slightly Offensive," and other people tweeted about three minutes worth of clips from the interview and said: "SHOCKING: Mel Gibson (Sound of Freedom) is the REAL DEAL warned of evils of Hollywood in 1998."

In the video, Gibson — who Ballard has said helped edit "Sound of Freedom" — doesn’t cry for protection from Hollywood elite, to use the Facebook post’s language. 

He does say things about Hollywood such as, "It takes that kind of cockroach resilience to survive in this town," and "I had a whole bunch of weird, paranoid suspicions about what the hell was going on, because there was a lot of stuff I couldn’t understand."

But that doesn’t support this Facebook post’s claim. 

We rate it False.


Our Sources

Facebook post, July 23, 2023

Tweet, July 9, 2023

Tweet, July 9, 2023

Tweet, July 3, 2023

Facebook post, June 30, 2023

PolitiFact, Studio behind ‘Sound of Freedom’ rejects claim AMC is sabotaging movie screenings, July 14, 2023

The Associated Press, Mel Gibson is not making a child sex trafficking documentary, publicist says, June 8, 2023

Newsweek, Mel Gibson Hollywood allegations resurface after 'Sound of Freedom' release, July 13, 2023

Snopes, Mel Gibson Interview from 1998 Goes Viral with 'Sound of Freedom' Release, July 11, 2023

YouTube, Mel Gibson Interview (1999), Aug. 20, 2022


Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Ciara O'Rourke

Video doesn’t show Mel Gibson seeking protection from ‘Hollywood elite’ after ‘Sound of Freedom’

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up