Back to Africa Check

No, Tom Hanks hasn’t endorsed Nigerian presidential hopeful Obi

Multiple Facebook posts are claiming that Hollywood actor Tom Hanks has endorsed Peter Obi, Nigeria’s presidential candidate for the Labour Party.

The messages, published in July 2022, claim Hanks said: “If Peter Obi was an American or even African American, Americans would have given him a one-way presidential ticket without him contesting, America and the world at large have not gotten the chance Nigerians have right now to correct their mistakes. 

They add: “Americans saw Peter's speech on one of their local television programs, after his speech, there was a standing Ovation for him all over America.”

But has Hanks, who has been vocal about US elections over the years, but never Nigeria’s election, tipped Obi for president?

Hanks_False

No evidence

There are no details in the Facebook post of when Hanks made such a statement. The lack of such detail is often a red flag that something on social media is fabricated.

There have also been no reports in the US or Nigerian mainstream media of Hanks saying any such thing, which would be expected if it were true.

Hanks hasn’t made any statement like it on his verified Twitter account and Instagram account.

There is no evidence for the claim.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.