Several viewers accused CNN of staging a fake protest in London on Sunday during a live segment in order to craft a narrative that Muslims in England are against radical extremism and support police.
The segment, which aired Sunday afternoon, came less than one day after three Islamic extremists used a van and knives to kill seven people and injure four dozen others in a brazen terrorist attack.
Footage from the scene showed CNN correspondent Becky Anderson preparing a TV segment by directing what appeared to be Muslims, including women in hijabs and children, with signs to gather in a group wide enough to cover a camera shot.
The signs bore messages of opposition to Islamic extremism, such as “ISIS will lose” and “love will win.” Viewers alleged that CNN was attempting to show Muslims in a positive light on the heels of another extremist attack.
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) June 4, 2017
Indeed, the live camera shot showed the group of protesters, whom Anderson described as “wonderful."
The video of Anderson purportedly staging the scene quickly spread on social media Sunday after being shared by right-wing personalities like Gateway Pundit and Mike Cernovich. British news personality Katie Hopkins also shared the video on Twitter and said it showed CNN "scripting a narrative."
But CNN unequivocally denied staging the scene for malicious purposes.
A CNN spokesman told TheBlaze late Sunday that the story is “nonsense."
"The group of demonstrators that was at the police cordon was being allowed through by officers so they could show their signs to the gathered media. The CNN crew along with other media present simply filmed them doing so,” the spokesman said.
CNN media reporter Brian Stelter said on Twitter that “far-right” Twitter users were “misleading” people about the video.