A photo of Hollywood actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger “sleeping in the street” next to a bronze statue of himself has been making the rounds on social media in Kenya and South Africa.
Shared 74 times and attracting 195 comments on a Kenyan Facebook group with nearly 2 million members, the photo’s caption details a phoney grace-to-grass story.
It says Schwarzenegger inaugurated the statue when he was governor and was promised a free room whenever he was in town.
“When Arnold stepped down as governor and went to the hotel, the administration refused to give him a room arguing that he should pay for it, since they were in great demand,” it reads.
He then bought a sleeping bag and lay down in it next to the statue.
The post says he “explained what he wanted to convey”: “When I was in an important position, they always complimented me, and when I lost this position, they forgot about me and did not keep their promise.
“Do not trust your position or the amount of money you have, nor your power, nor your intelligence, it will not last.”
Actor in Ohio for movie shoot
The photo is real, but its caption is not.
Schwarzenegger posed for the photo as a joke on 15 January 2016 when he was in Columbus, Ohio shooting the movie Aftermath, according to entertainment website E News.
The actor then posted it on Instagram with the caption, “How times have changed.”
E News explained that that he had decided to “poke a little fun” at himself during the shoot. US media personality Perez Hilton also captured the moment on his website.
And the statue of Schwarzenegger is actually outside the Greater Columbus Convention Center – not a hotel.
It was originally installed outside the Franklin County Veterans Memorial in 2012, before being relocated to the convention centre in 2014.
The post also claims Schwarzenegger was turned away from the “hotel” when he “lost his position”. Article V (section 2) of California constitution sets out that a governor can only serve two terms of four years each.
Schwarzenegger successfully served two terms and then stepped down, as required by law. He did not lose the position.
The photo’s caption has also been checked by Snopes and found to be false – Dancan Bwire (13/05/19)
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