Update: This story has been updated with additional comment from Leon Parsons, who says he is not a QAnon supporter, and the fact the Facebook post is now deleted.
A fictional character in Newfoundland, Canada, known for “doin’ wheelies” and “havin’ a time”, shared a QAnon-adjacent conspiracy theory with tens of thousands of fans on Facebook.
Donnie Dumphy is a popular fictional character known for his portrayal of a so-called “townie skeet” in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. A “skeet” is an arguably classist term used in the province to denote a certain type of lower-class, uneducated person. The Dumphy character—a bumbling dude with motorcycle gloves and long, ratty hair—is played by local actor and comedian Leon Parsons.
Dumphy was created by Parsons and Nik Sexton, a Toronto-based producer from Newfoundland, in the early 2000s to be a character in Sexton’s skateboarding videos. Sexton has not had anything to do with the character for several years.
On Wednesday, the Donnie Dumphy Facebook page shared a post full of QAnon conspiracy theory tropes to more than 57,000 followers. The post insinuates the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is over-hyped and uses the QAnon hashtag #saveourchildren. It also claims media outlets like the CBC (Canada’s public broadcaster) are controlled by billionaires with agendas.
Parsons, in character as Dumphy, has appeared on CBC radio and TV many times since he released his debut rap album, I Loves Doin’ Wheelies, in 2009. As Dumphy, Parsons also starred in the 2014 feature film, How to be Deadly, about Dumphy’s attempt to win back his girlfriend Brenda in a mini-bike competition.
The post on the Donnie Dumphy page was shared over 2,000 times. Sexton told VICE News the post was shared by Parsons.
Parsons told VICE News he believes every word of the post and that he will be making more, though his follow-ups may not be as “controversial.” But he said he is not a QAnon or a Donald Trump supporter.
QAnon is a demonstrably false right-wing, pro-Donald Trump conspiracy theory that claims the president is fighting a war against the “deep state” and an international cabal of (liberal) pedophiles that secretly runs the world. Though entirely untrue, QAnon has been picking up steam during the COVID-19 pandemic and is spreading across the world. There are many QAnon believers running for office as Republicans.
Corey Hurren, the armed Canadian Armed Forces reservist who in July plowed his truck through the gates of Ottawa’s Rideau Hall, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lives, posted QAnon content to the Instagram account of his sausage-making business.
James Cadigan, media relations officer with Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, the local police force in St. John’s, said he doesn’t have any information to support the claims in Parsons’ post. “We just want to make sure there’s accurate information getting out in our community,” he said.
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