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When I’m checking the internet for PEOPLE WHO ARE WRONG ABOUT THINGS, a few names frequently appear attached to misinformation. There are the expected political figures—Clinton, Trump, Biden, George Soros—but there’s also Tom Hanks.

The most recent example of Hanks-hate that’s gaining traction is this post from Twitter (that I saw on Snopes). The doctored image of Hanks has been viewed over 2.5 million times since it was posted just yesterday. It’s not even a particularly inflammatory image, just Hanks in an anti-Trump t-shirt, but something about the actor makes a lot of people so angry that they have to invent things that he did to be angry about. Here are some recent examples:

I could go on, but you get the point—there’s a definite hate-boner for the guy. But why him, of all people? I think of Tom Hanks as the likable star of Forrest Gump, Castaway, and Mazes and Monsters; an amusing guest on talk shows, a little annoyingly bland, but generally a friendly seeming actor-guy. How is it that others believe that Tom Hanks is not just capable of, but guilty of monumental acts of evil, a shady international super-criminal setting deadly wildfires between molestation vacations to Epstein’s Island?

The history of Tom Hanks hate

Hanks has never been a favorite of the Right. Conservatives dragged the guy even in the Times-Before-Trump. For example, in 2010, Hanks was called an ignoramus for suggesting a similarity between racism against the Japanese in World War II and then-current nationalism. There are other examples of “I take issue with that remark” responses to him, but no real vitriol. It’s the kind of stock response conservatives used to have for any member of the Hollywood elite—low stakes culture wars shit that seems quaint these days. But in 2018, Hanks went from being scoffed at as typical Hollywood Liberal to public enemy number one among the dumbest people you went to high school with, and the mouth-frothing rage largely originated with one man: actor Isaac Kappy.

Who was Isaac Kappy?

Kappy was a strictly D-list actor with credits limited to characters that are not given names in screenplays. He was “Rowdy Prisoner” in Breaking Bad and “Pet Store Clerk” in Thor, but that was enough to get him a spot as a guest on Alex Jones’ show in 2018. On his appearance, Kappy detailed a vast child molestation conspiracy in Hollywood that he said he’d witnessed firsthand. Even Jones seemed incredulous, but the appearance brought Kappy a level of stardom within the fetid Right Wing lunatic swamp that far eclipsed anything he’d achieved on planet earth. His medium was Periscope, and to keep the people’s attention focused on him, Kappy started naming people he said were involved in Hollywood’s massive molestation ring, including Hanks. The rest of the names were of celebrities openly critical of Donald Trump. (What a coincidence!) Kappy offered no evidence for his claims of course, because there wasn’t any, and Kappy was, almost certainly, mentally ill.

Leaving behind a note on Instagram claiming he was the reincarnation of Judas Iscariot, Kappy died by suicide in 2019 by leaping off a highway overpass in Arizona, but the dark legacy of the troubled actor lived on.

Once Hanks’ name was out there, and Kappy’s suicide was re-cast as a deep-state hit job, Q-Anon and associated cretins signal-boosted accusations against Hanks on anonymous 4Chan posts, Periscope videos, and every other avenue accepting of the “valuable free speech” of the stupid. Repetition becomes truth among the easily led, and Hanks’ name has been attached to so many evil deeds that a response of “That seems like something Tom Hanks would do,” is expected from a certain segment of the population. And it goes on to this day. Which is why members of the current safe-space-dummies, Twitter, are spreading doctored images of Tom Hanks to great engagement.

(I’m going to take a shower now.)

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