John Oliver has rounded up some famous faces to explain the harm that comes with spreading false information about the coronavirus online.
Alex Trebek, Catherine O’Hara, Billy Porter, Paul Rudd and John Cena have recorded public service announcements for Oliver’s site, The True True Truth. The late-night host hopes not to game, but to educate with the humorous celeb messages.
“Experts say 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 more critically,” he says.
Leave it to Trebek to deliver the important information to viewers, encouraging them to ask their own questions about the sources of the “news” they are sharing.
“If nobody ever asked questions, ‘Jeopardy!‘ would be a very, very, weird show, wouldn’t it?” Trebek says. “It would be just time, reading obscure facts to the faces of silent strangers.”
In O’Hara’s PSA, she too encourages viewers to do their own research because “not everything you find on the Internet is true,” adding that “despite what someone says, my name does not start with a ‘K’.”
The “Last Week Tonight” host explained the damage spreading coronavirus conspiracy theories and false narratives, adding that the U.S. public is susceptible because “one of the most prominent spreaders of conspiracies on Earth is the current President of the United States.” He added, “Conspiracies are sort of like ugly buildings and deeply tragic adult children in that Donald Trump loves to unleash them into the world and then refuse to take responsibility for them ever again.”
All the celeb PSAs can be viewed here.