June 5, 2017 CNN Caught Staging Fake News with (possibly unpaid) Extras

CNN Caught Staging Fake News with (possibly unpaid) Extras

Mark Antro (@markantro) caught CNN London staging fake news about the London Bridge Terror Attack.

The Video


The video shows CNN production staff strategically arranging a handful of people in stereotypical Muslim religious clothing behind a broadcaster. As the broadcaster prepares to speak on an empty London street, CNN producers usher about ten people holding signs into the frame.

CNN staff are heard giving stage instructions to the extras. One producer directs several extras to squeeze together in order to give the impression of a dense crowd. A single small child is placed front and center within the frame. The only man wearing jeans and a T-shirt seems to hide behind his sign.

CNN Caught Staging Fake News with (possibly unpaid) ExtrasWith the scene in place the broadcaster begins with the statement:

What I want to show you now is a wonderful scene. These are Muslim moms, this is in commemoration to the people that died, “to the heroes of London,” on the street here.

She then lists off all of the slogans and hashtags that are written on the signs. There are only 3 different types of signs each with multiple copies held up by different extras. It appears that each sign is printed on the same 11×17 paper stock. Only the single small child holds up a sign that looks homemade, presumably made by him or designed to look like it.

The video was shot by Londoner Mark Antro. For the video, Antro was awarded $2,500 by Alex Jones and $1,000 by Mike Cernovich as part of their joint project Operation Expose Terrorist Media.

Extras Aren’t Free

Union Rates for Extras in the UK (Background Artistes)
Union Rates for Extras in the UK (Background Artistes)

RightWave Media was unable to obtain the exact amount that CNN paid (or failed to pay) their extras. However, the union rate for a four-hour “shift call” for a “Background Artiste” is £55.13 ($71.18) per the UK Film Artistes Association (FAA).

RightWave Media staff reached out to BECTU, FAA’s parent organization, for comment but have not yet received a response.

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