An online conspiracy theory that the stage at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was designed in the shape of a Nazi symbol has been disproved by the political affiliations of the company that built it.
Over the past several days, social media users sought to disparage the conference by comparing the design of the main stage to an obscure Nazi symbol known as the Odal rune.
Design Foundry told the Jewish newspaper The Forward on Tuesday that the design was “intended to provide the best use of space, given the constraints of the ballroom and social distancing requirements” and was approved by the American Conservative Union, CPAC’s organizers.
The firm added it was “saddened and horrified at the accusations that this was a deliberate act. Design Foundry denounces all hate speech and acts of racism, prejudice, or bigotry in all forms.”
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Design Foundry’s financial and political ties further undercut the Nazi conspiracy theory. The company’s previous clients include MSNBC, Google, Target, and the Biden Cancer Initiative.
The National Pulse noted on Wednesday that more than 98% of the $7,766.50 in campaign contributions made by employees of the Design Foundry were donated to Democrats, according to FEC filings.
Additionally, journalist Yashar Ali reported that the company’s owner is “very liberal” and was “so excited” when Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.
The facts that discredit the conspiracy theory didn’t stop media outlets and public figures on social media from pushing the CPAC-Nazi narrative.
TMZ was one of the first outlets to go viral pushing the story, running the headline, “CPACSTAGE DESIGN LOOKS LIKE NAZI SYMBOL …Used by WWII SS Platoon.”
Other outlets like The Washington Post, Salon, and The Huffington Post also perpetuated the conspiracy theory.
USA Today even attempted to shame CPAC for not apologizing over its display.
Celebrities like Alyssa Milano also elevated the comparison on Instagram juxtaposing a photo of the stage with a Nazi uniform.
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“This is the stage at CPAC. THEY’RE NOT EVEN TRYING TO HIDE IT ANYMORE. @hyatt, this is what’s happening in your building. @tedcruz, you stood on this stage,” Milano wrote.
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absurd to accuse this conference and our organization of being anti-Semitic when we had the [U.S. ambassador] to Israel speak from that stage,” Schlapp said, adding that there were also standing-room-only Jewish religious services that the hotel helped facilitate.
The conference is the largest annual gathering of conservative activists and leaders. Fox Nation was a sponsor of CPAC 2021.
Fox News’ Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.