Kanye West's new head of media and partnerships is Jason Lee, AKA The Guy Behind That Queen Elizabeth II Death Hoax.
"Sources close to the Royal Kingdom notified us exclusively that Queen Elizabeth has passed away," the article boldly proclaimed. "She was scheduled to attend the wedding of British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, but was found dead."
Critics and journalists quickly refuted Hollywood Unlocked's claims, but Lee took to Twitter and Instagram with statements defending the site's baseless report.
In a since-deleted screenshot from Apple's Notes app (the trusty sidekick of many a divisive public figure), Lee listed several reasons why readers should believe Hollywood Unlocked.
The story gets weirder — on February 23, a Twitter account by the handle @HollywoodUL posted a now-deleted apology blaming an "intern journalist" for publishing the report on the Queen.
It seemed the saga had come to a rather laughable end, but the morning after attending Ye's DONDA 2 listening party, Lee tweeted: "Woke up to some fake account posting a retraction... we have not retracted our story. There has yet to be an official statement from the Palace."
(There's nothing like seeing Ye extend another hand to accused rapist Marilyn Manson to make you double down on your weird beliefs, I guess?)
It took Lee a week to accept the fact that the Queen is, in fact, alive and well. On March 1, Hollywood Unlocked finally conceded with an Instagram post breaking the (old) news that Lilibet had recovered from COVID.
West's decision to hire Lee, the kind of ridiculous grab at press that Ye is known for, is likely the result of his recent Hollywood Unlocked interview, a 45-minute chat that covered the rapper's thoughts on Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian, and a career in politics.
With Lee at the helm of Kanye's media strategy, we're in for more hoaxes, controversies, and PR stunts. Here's to 2022!