On Tuesday, Adam Baron, a reporter and visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relation, tweeted images from an interview with Drew Barrymore that appears in the current issue of EgyptAir’s in-flight magazine Horus. The validity of the profile was immediately called into question, considering the feature’s gross misspellings and grammatical errors, but also its strange, unbelievable content. Let’s get through this together.
First off, the introduction for the story—written under the byline Aida Tekla—describes Barrymore as “being unstable in her relationships most of her life,” which “psychologists believe... is only natural since she lacked the male role model in her life after her parents’ divorce when she was only 9 years old.” That is somehow only the tip of the iceberg:
For example, when allegedly asked for her thoughts on “the status of women today,” Drew’s alleged response is recorded as follows:
“I cannot deny that women made a great achievement over [the] past century, there is significant progress recorded by people who study women status throughout history. This is naturally reflected on women in the west who will not be satisfied unless they gain the rights they deserve to the society. This is especially true since women exert tremendous efforts that men are incapable of exerting due to their numerous commitments and obligations.”
Definitely sounds like a real human person...
Understandably, Baron’s tweet popped off, and curious parties wondered what the hell was going on with this story. Later in the day, hours after his initial tweet, EgyptAir’s Twitter account responded to a tweet from aviation analyst Alex Macheras instead of Baron himself:
Please note that at no point then did the airline directly state: “This is an original interview with actor Drew Barrymore.”
That statement arrived the following day, Wednesday, when EgyptAir thanked Aida Takla directly after she posted a “clarification” claiming the interview with “Drew Barrimoor” was obviously “genuine and far from fake.” It’s part of a three-Tweet thread, where Takla also seems to place some blame on poor editing:
B-A-R-R-I-M-O-O-R. What we might have here is: 1) Russia, or 2) A real Bort Simpson case of mistaken identity: perhaps Takla interviewed a Barrymore impersonator who, for legal reasons, could only go by Drew Barrimoor. It’s not a perfect theory, but we need something to explain this.
Also on Wednesday, the Huffington Post reached out to Barrymore’s team, who stated that the actor “did not participate” in the interview and that they are currently “working with the airline PR team.” Barrymore has yet to comment on the saga herself, perhaps because she’s too busy playing the most important role of her career: retired mother!!!!
Or better yet, she’s busy planning an epic correction to a misleading news item by bringing a handmade sign to a red carpet, as she did with the Jake Gyllenhaal drama. Can’t wait to see Santa Clarita Diet’s Season 3 premiere photos with Barrymore holding a poster that reads: “I DO NOT </3 UNSTABLE RELATIONSHIPS.”
Update, 5:00 p.m.: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has shared a statement with Vanity Fair announcing that the organization has launched an investigation into the Barrymore article and its author Aida Takla (referred to as Dr. Aida Takla-O’Reilly by the H.F.P.A.):
“We are aware that an article under the byline of our member Dr. Aida Takla-O’Reilly regarding Drew Barrymore, published in EgyptAir’s Horus magazine, has come into question. Ms. Barrymore has been interviewed by H.F.P.A. members many times and we always appreciate her willingness to speak to us. As an organization comprised of journalists, the H.F.P.A. expects its members to uphold the highest degree of integrity in their journalistic activities. Based on our preliminary investigation, we understand that parts of the article in question were not written by Dr. Takla-O’Reilly and that other portions of the article may have come from other sources. We regret any distress caused to Ms. Barrymore by this article.”
Vanity Fair also reports that a “source familiar with the situation clarified that Barrymore’s quotes in the interview were in fact taken from a press conference for Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet, and that the introduction in Horus was not written by Takla-O’Reilly.”