I really can’t think of anyone who you would class as more of an A-lister than Samuel L Jackson, he is the definition of a household name.
And Magic Johnson isn’t that far behind either, as an iconic basketball legend.
So it has come as a slight surprise that these two stars have been mistaken for immigrants while on holiday in Tuscany.
Sam & I chilling out on a bench yesterday in Forte dei Marmi, Italy. The fans started lining up to take pictures with us. pic.twitter.com/uzXx698PiN
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 16, 2017
Johnson posted a snap on his Twitter account with this caption:
Sam & I chilling out on a bench yesterday in Forte dei Marmi, Italy. The fans started lining up to take pictures with us.
The pair were sat on a bench with shopping bags labelled with designers like Louis Vuitton at their feet.
The snap was picked up by Luca Bottura, a comic actor who turned it into a meme about immigration as a social experiment.
The meme reads:
Boldrini’s resources in Forte dei Marmi shop at Prada with our €35. Share this picture if you are outraged.
As can be expected in the modern world, people shared left right and centre, without realising that they were sharing a video of one of the most profitable actors in history and a multpiple NBA All-star MVP.
Boldrini is an Italian politician who has come under fire for her progressive immigration policy.
Nina Moric, an Italian model, even posted to Facebook saying that seeing immigrants using the money for frivolous reasons was ‘too much’.
However, she has since explained that her post was also part of the social experiment.
She posted to Facebook:
There used to be social experiments. Then came the results of them to tell us that the content of a post on social networks is used by users to confirm their prejudices, regardless of what the truth is. None of us are immune to this phenomenon.
If you think migrants come here to bivouacking at 35 euros a day, that post will confirm it. If you think nina moric is an extreme right-wing extremist, her post will confirm it.
We hardly move from our idea, surrounded by friends who think like us, that with them I like to confirm even more our prejudice. Yesterday, thousands of people smiled at the thought of Samuel L. Jackson and magic Johnson at the expense of the Italian State.
Many, thanks to the same photo, have strengthened their bias towards immigrants. It is the freedom of each of us to choose which of the two reactions has more weight.
Since it’s original publication, Bottura clarified his intentions by saying that it was a social experiment.
He stated that around 40% understood the irony of the post, with around 30% being genuinely outraged at the statement.
About 20% thought that Bottura was genuine and that he was racist by not recognising Samuel L Jackson or Magic Johnson.
Hanging out with my boys Sam and John. pic.twitter.com/9qqqvQPa7L
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 19, 2017
Apparently, 10% was unclear, or wouldn’t say.
Even so, that’s quite a worrying statistic on the willingness of people to believe this kind of stuff.