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Is Michael Moore really making a movie about an anti-masturbation dolphin called Fappy?

No. But who's behind the "Fappy the Dolphin" hoax?


Gaby Dunn

Internet Culture

Posted on May 31, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 2:28 pm CDT

It would be hilarious if filmmaker Michael Moore’s next documentary were about the anti-masturbation movement and a mascot called Fappy the Dolphin. But it’s probably not going to happen: The whole thing, from the bogus film down to the puppet itself, appears to be an elaborate hoax by online trolls targeting the Westboro Baptist Church and controversial agriculture company Monsanto.

A presumably fake press release issued this morning on a suspicious-looking site called states that Moore’s new film, Fappy, will focus on a character called Fappy the Anti-Masturbation Dolphin who travels to different towns and schools teaching children about the dangers of self-love and warning that masturbation is the gateway to rape. It is supposedly coming out in December.


The release quotes Lonnie Childs, president and founder of Stop Masturbation Now, as telling CNN: “[Masturbation] leads to sexual dysfunction, erodes family values, and is a top 10 cause of disease. What our organization does is designed to help make children and parents aware of the dangers of masturbation in and outside of the home. God willing, one day masturbation will be illegal.” No such interview can be found. 


The only other site reporting the Fappy news is the satirical Super Official News, which looks less official and more like a masturbation-themed The Onion. In the past, the site has “reported” that Fappy the Dolphin was (ironically) arrested for public masturbation. The man in a dolphin costume is, according to its Facebook page, sponsored by Monsanto, an agriculture company under fire for its genetically modified food.

via Fappy the Dolphin/Facebook

The number for Fappy listed on the movie’s website is actually the number of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. On the site, there’s a screenshot of a Michael Moore tweet confirming the film, but currently, there’s no evidence on the Web that Moore’s tweets about the movie ever really existed. A reverse Google Image search shows the photo of Moore, who directed Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, announcing the Fappy release was actually taken in Berlin in 2003.

This is obviously an elaborate and long-con-style prank. So who’s behind it? Is the Westboro Baptist Church involved? Is this viral marketing by Moore? Just a hoax by a random guy who loves dolphins and hates masturbating? A dedicated trolling campaign by an anti-WBC or anti-Monsanto group, possibly Anonymous?

Or this guy?

Michael Moore documentary called “Fappy” will come out In Dec. It’s about Fappy The Anti-masturbation Dolphin &…

— Sheens Korner (@sheens_korner) May 31, 2013

This Fappy stuff goes way deeper than any of us thought. What does it all mean? If only someone could dig into this and investigate and maybe make a documentary about it… Oh!

H/T | Photo via Facebook

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*First Published: May 31, 2013, 12:58 pm CDT