Struggling to sway friends or relatives who are falling for misinformation about coronavirus? John Oliver’s assembled a panel of beloved celebs they might be willing to listen to.
In a segment dedicated to tackling conspiracy theories on Sunday, the “Last Week Tonight” host enlisted an assortment of stars to help send his message as dangerous misinformation about coronavirus continues to spread like wildfire online. It doesn’t help, Oliver noted, that President Donald Trump persistently amplifies these baseless claims.
While it may be tempting to scream, “Why do you believe this nonsense, you titanic fucking idiot,” Oliver said, he suggested a slightly less confrontational approach when attempting to help those around you to use rational thinking.
“What experts say is that the most effective way to approach someone is not by shaming them for believing something or overwhelming them with counter-evidence, but to try and be empathetic, meet them where they are, and nudge them to think a little more critically,” he said.
To that end, he brought on some voices that people might be more willing to listen to.
For instance, for the “confused grandparents” sharing misinformation about not wearing a face mask, he suggested a 90-second message recorded by “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek, who reminded viewers that it’s important to ask questions.
For the cousin who likes wrestling and “Fast and Furious” movies, who better to bring in than John Cena? The star noted in his own address ― while slowly removing his clothing ― that it’s important to check information you find online. Like, for example, the fact that he and John Oliver were born on the exact same day, despite having very different-looking bodies for their age (it’s true, we checked).
In his own bit, Billy Porter said there’s “a lot of convincing-looking shit on the internet and most of it ain’t true.” He suggested using your brain “like it’s the first roll of toilet paper in a brand new pack: unsparingly and with gusto.”
And Paul Rudd, who noted that “I once thought I was dead because #RIPPaulRudd was trending,” urged viewers to check multiple trusted sources to see if information you’ve read holds water.
Watch the video below, or visit TheTrueTrueTruth.com, to hear what Rudd, Cena, Trebek, Porter and Catherine O’Hara have to say.
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