John Oliver Launches ‘The True True Truth’ to Debunk COVID-19 Myths

Lloyd Bishop/HBO

The Last Week Tonight host gathered messages from John Cena, Alex Trebek, Catherine O’Hara, Billy Porter, and Paul Rudd to encourage viewers to not fall for conspiracy theories.

For the past few weeks, talk show host John Oliver has dedicated his series, Last Week Tonight, to cover the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The episodes have discussed the many nuances of the current crisis, including how it is impacting sports, prisons, and evictions.

This week, Oliver covered another aspect of the pandemic: the conspiracy theories surrounding it. A lot of misinformation regarding COVID-19 has spread in the Internet, and some of it—such as the idea that wearing masks is ineffective or worsens the spread—is actually very dangerous. This is even scarier considering that now this false information can look legitimate, as Oliver illustrated with Plandemic, a conspiracy theory video that looks like a true-crime documentary.

Hoping to help combat this threat, Oliver pointed out ways to identify misinformation and conspiracy theories. However, he also recognized that many people might not listen to him, so he decided to enlist the help of some beloved celebrities.

Along with the episode, the show also launched a website, titled ‘The True True Truth.’ In it, people can find videos from Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, Fast & Furious actor John Cena, Ant-Man actor Paul Rudd, Pose actor Billy Porter, and Schitt’s Creek actress Catherine O’Hara. The clips feature the celebrities urging people to think critically before sharing information regarding COVID-19, as well as explaining how to check their sources.

Oliver hopes this serves as a tool for people to talk to their families and friends and debunk COVID-19 conspiracy theories.

“Now, what experts say is that the most effective way to approach someone is not by shaming them for believing something or overwhelming them with counter-evidence,” Oliver shared. “But to try and be empathetic, meet them where they are, and nudge them to think a bit more critically.”

You can watch the full episode above, or click here to watch the celebrity messages for ‘The True True Truth.’