HomeCelebrity NewsFact Check: Altered Image Of Dr. Oz Kissing Trump’s Hollywood Star Spreads Online

Fact Check: Altered Image Of Dr. Oz Kissing Trump’s Hollywood Star Spreads Online

The claim

A viral image of Senate candidate and celebrity surgeon that purports to show the Pennsylvania office-seeker kissing former ’s star on the Walk of Fame has misled some users.

“Mehmet Oz only cares about one thing and it isn’t Pennsylvania,” reads the caption on the photo in an Aug. 21 post. 

The photo also gained traction on , with one post accumulating over 4,000 retweets and 23,000 likes in less than a week. The photo surfaced in an array of other Facebook posts as well.

However, this photo isn’t real. An image of Dr. Oz kissing his own Hollywood star and an image of Trump’s star were combined to create the picture.

A digital forensic expert and a spokesperson for Oz’s Senate campaign told the photo is altered.

Facebook user @TheAleParty told USA TODAY the picture was created as satire and took credit for creating it in a later Facebook post. The original version of the photo posted on August 18 includes attribution to The Ale Party, though many versions circulating on social media crop that out.

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Image is manipulated

The original image shows Oz kissing his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. AP photographer captured it on Feb. 11 during the unveiling of Oz’s star. The creases on Oz’s suit and the pin on his lapel in the photo appear to be identical to the photoshopped image. 

“I can confirm that the circulating image of Dr. Oz kissing Trump’s Walk of Fame star is photoshopped and inauthentic,” , a spokesperson for Oz’s Senate campaign, told USA TODAY in an email.

The image of Trump’s star was taken by AFP photographer Mark Ralston in May 2017 and displayed the same cracks and dark areas as the altered image. Trump’s plaque was installed in 2007 and has undergone numerous repairs since being vandalized in 2016, 2019, and 2020. Recent photos show no damage.

“This is a clear case of photo manipulation,” said Hany Farid, a digital forensics expert at the University of California Berkeley’s School of Information. Farid created a two-frame GIF animation to show how the image of Trump’s star was edited into the photo bearing Oz’s name.

Trump endorsed Oz in April as his pick in the Pennsylvania Senate race. The seat is up for grabs because of the impending retirement of Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. Oz faces Democrat , who is currently Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, in the Nov. 8 general election.