Monday 16 December 2019

Fact check: Trump not banning gay-themed television

Mr Trump did not make the remarks widely circulated online (AP)
Mr Trump did not make the remarks widely circulated online (AP)

US president Donald Trump did not say he wanted to ban shows with gay-themed content from television, including Fox's Empire, despite the claims of a widely-shared story quoting him in a purported interview with Fox News.

The network said the president had never made such a statement, nor does he have the authority to ban programming.

The story posted on several online platforms cites a supposed interview Mr Trump conducted with Fox News earlier this month, in which he declared that he would ban Empire as part of a two-year effort "to remove all shows that have too much gay activity".

The story also claims Mr Trump used a derogatory slur for gay people in the interview.

A spokesperson for Fox News has confirmed that Mr Trump never made such remarks on their airtime.

Fox said no-one from the US administration had sought to interfere with Empire or any other shows on the network.

The president can use his platform encourage or discourage certain kinds of entertainment, but he cannot ban it because of American First Amendment guarantees on the freedom of speech.

:: Mr Trump incorrectly claimed in a television interview that two people were shot and killed in Chicago during then-president Barack Obama's farewell speech.

Mr Trump referenced the Obama speech in an interview on Wednesday with ABC News, and said: "Two people were shot and killed during his speech."

According to a transcript, he added: "They weren't shot at the speech. But they were shot in the city of Chicago during his speech."

Chicago police records show no-one was fatally shot in the city on January 10, the day of Mr Obama's speech. There were five shootings, but none occurred while Mr Obama was speaking.

Donald Trump has criticised Chicago for its soaring levels of violence, saying on Twitter this week that he would "send in the feds" if the city cannot "fix the horrible 'carnage'".

PA Media

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