Did Matthew McConaughey admit to an ‘initiation process’ in Hollywood?

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Matthew McConaughey’s ‘initiation process’ remark has conspiracy theorists losing their minds

While Hollywood is no stranger to controversy, McConaughey’s comment made no reference whatsoever to any devious behavior.


Mikael Thalen


Posted on Apr 16, 2024   Updated on Apr 16, 2024, 4:07 pm CDT

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Conspiracy theorists are losing their minds on social media over claims that famed actor Matthew McConaughey admitted that a Satanic “initiation process” exists in Hollywood. But was that actually said?

During a recent interview with People, McConaughey discussed his more than three decades in the industry and questioned why he was never given any “tips or tricks” for surviving Hollywood early on in his career.

“There’s a lot of things you learn 10 years after being in Hollywood and you go, ‘Well, why didn’t they tell me that in year two?’ Because there’s an initiation process,” he said.

Of course, it appears McConaughey was speaking in a metaphorical sense more than anything. In other words, according to the actor, everyone needs to experience ups and downs in the acting world.

“My star meter has been higher, my star meter has been lower. I’ve won Oscars. I’ve been arrested playing the bongos naked,” he said. “Overall, I believe there’s been inherent goodwill for me, but it did not keep me from figuring out my own initiation into the industry.”

And while Hollywood is no stranger to debauchery, lavishness, and controversy, McConaughey’s comment made no reference whatsoever to any devious behavior.

Nevertheless, conspiracy theorists heard what they wanted.

“Pedophilia and andrenochrome?” one user on X said in response to the story.

“I guess that’s code for pedo activity,” another added.

Of course, there is no doubt that prominent figures in the entertainment industry abuse their power. Look to disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein or recent allegations regarding employees at Nickelodeon, to name a few.

Still, McConaughey’s comments did not insinuate anything of the sort.

Shadow of Ezra, a popular QAnon promoter on X, also shared the news, leading to an influx of comments from his followers.

“We all know. And we all know that all of them sold their souls for fortune and fame,” one response said. “Seems when they get older and acquired what they needed, they want to play the victim and whistleblower now.”

Unsurprisingly, conspiracy theorists couldn’t agree on what the imagined initiation ritual actually involved. Some claimed actors are forced to wear dresses as part of a “humiliation ritual” before being allowed into Hollywood. Another claimed sodomy was part of the process. Claims regarding Satanic rituals were also floated online.

Numerous right-wing outlets ran with headlines that specifically cited the “initiation process” quote, such as Fox News and the Gateway Pundit.

But at least one right-wing user on X pushed back on the unfounded explanations for the actor’s remarks.

“He was talking about the learning curve, paying your dues, and earning your stripes in the business, just like any other industry,” the user said. “Took him 10+ years to understand how it all works. He wasn’t talking about a sinister blood ritual or anything like that.”

Despite the logical explanation as well as countless other legitimate examples of misbehavior in Hollywood, conspiracy theorists instead seem to love focusing on vague remarks that they can cast as mysterious or devious.

Why it matters

There are numerous documented issues in Hollywood regarding the abuse of power. But there is no indication whatsoever that McConaughey was referring to anything like that.

Hollywood actors deemed to have even the slightest conservative leanings, whether McConaughey or Mel Gibson, are regularly used by conspiratorial people to push their theories. 

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*First Published: Apr 16, 2024, 6:00 am CDT