Harrison Ford praised climate activists in 2019 speech, not pro-Palestinian protesters

As pro-Palestinian rallies rocked US college campuses, a video of Hollywood veteran Harrison Ford circulated in Facebook posts that falsely claimed it showed him praising the movement. The actor was in fact speaking about young climate activists in the speech he gave at the United Nations in 2019, years before the Israel-Hamas war broke out.

"Harrison Ford in support of young people College (sic) encampment protests in 83 US campuses and more around the world," reads a Facebook post that shared the video on April 30, 2024.

It calls to "free Palestine" and stop the "brutal attack" of young people on campuses.

The video shows the "Indiana Jones" star speaking at a podium surrounded by cameramen.

"There is a new force of nature at hand, stirring all over the world," he says.

"They are the young people whom frankly, we have failed, who are angry, who are organised, who are capable of making a difference."

"They are a moral army. And the most important thing that we can do for them is to get the hell out of their way."

Screenshot of false post taken May 9, 2024

Demonstrators have gathered on at least 40 US university campuses to protest the Israeli military assault on Gaza following the unprecedented October 7 attack by Hamas. 

More than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, were killed in that attack, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Militants also took about 250 hostages. Israel estimates 128 of them remain in Gaza, including 36 who officials say are dead.

Israel in response vowed to crush Hamas and launched a military offensive that has killed at least 34,844 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.

The video was shared in similar Facebook posts around the world, including those that gave their location as the United States, Pakistan and India.

Screenshots of Facebook posts sharing the false claim, taken on May 9, 2024

Some TikTok posts also falsely claimed the video showed the actor criticising a US Congress move to ban TikTok. 

Climate summit

Reverse image searches and keyword searches on Google found the full video of Ford's speech posted on the United Nations' YouTube channel on September 23, 2019 (archived link).

The video is titled: "Harrison Ford on the importance of rainforests at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019."

The clip in the false posts can be seen from the five-minute, 24-second mark of the UN's video (archived link).

Below is a screenshot comparison between the video in the false posts (left) and the UN's video (right):

Screenshot comparison taken May 7, 2024

Ford did not mention Israel, Gaza or TikTok in any part of his speech.

Ford is the latest American actor targeted by misinformation about pro-Palestinian demonstrations. In May, a video of Robert De Niro circulated in posts falsely claiming it showed him yelling at pro-Palestinian protesters in New York.

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