Did Kamala Harris simulate boarding the plane? The truth behind the viral photo with a lookalike near the stairs against a green screen
A bizarre photo of someone about to climb a few steps to a green screen has gone viral on Facebook, with conspiracy theorists claiming it shows Vice President Kamala Harris ‘staging’ a fake photo op of ‘she boarding a plane. The post of the photo in question was first posted to Facebook on May 16.
It shows a person wearing a black coat and black Converse shoes, with their back to the camera. The person, surrounded by four men in uniform, stands at the foot of a moving staircase that leads to a green screen. “ENJOY THE SHOW EVERYBODY KAMALA ABOUT TO BOARD ON THE GREEN SCREEN ENJOY THE MOVIE,” the photo caption reads. The post in question had gathered more than 500 interactions. It was understandable for people to mistake the figure in the photo for Harris, as the VP is known to wear white and black Converse sneakers.
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Photo “Designated survivor”
However, according to USA Today, the image predates the Biden administration. The photo was taken from Twitter, from a May 2017 article posted by Kal Penn, actor and former associate director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement during the Obama administration.
In his May 3, 2017 article, which was also uploaded to Instagram, Penn posted a photo of the sets from the political drama “Designated Survivor,” in which he played the character of Seth Wright.
While it’s unclear who the person in the black coat is, as seen in the viral photo, it certainly isn’t Harris. At the time of the original publication, Harris was still a California Senator.
There are also other images and videos, circulating online, which purport to show Harris to ‘fake’ photos of her boarding a plane, which have no basis in the truth.
TikTok video demystified
For example, an edited video was posted on TikTok that shows Harris talking to a person in uniform and walking towards a staircase on a tarmac. Since the clip cuts off abruptly, it left a lot of people confused. “She’s going up the stairs, but where’s the plane?” a social media user wrote in an April 24 tweet, which contained the video. The post had approximately 176,000 views.
However, photos from Reuters and Getty Images have already debunked the conspiracy theory that Harris staged the scene. Photos matching the video, taken on April 19, show Harris walking alongside a woman in uniform, then walking up the steps. As the TikTok video ends before the plane can be seen, the plane can be seen behind Harris in footage provided by Getty and Reuters.
“US Vice President Kamala Harris waves as she boards Air Force Two at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, USA,” one of the captions read. photos from Reuters. She was on her way to North Carolina, according to another Getty Images photo. In fact, there is a YouTube video from April 20 that had some of the footage used by the TikTok video. In the longer video, Harris boards the plane.