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Who is Whitney Chewston? 'Homophobic dog' meme made this dachshund go viral

Bruno Cooke May 17, 2022
Who is Whitney Chewston? 'Homophobic dog' meme made this dachshund go viral

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The so-called “homophobic dog” meme first gained notoriety this time last year, but the last two months have seen its viral popularity soar – who is Whitney Chewston, and how did she become the “new face of online homophobia”?

Meet Whitney Chewston, a lowly dachshund who unwittingly became the ‘new face of online homophobia’

Whitney Chewston is a “Diva Dachshund” with over 100K followers on Instagram.

She resides in Scottsdale, Arizona and has been popular online for several years.

On 12 June 2019, Whitney’s owner snapped a photo of her sitting on a blanket behind a glass of red wine.

“Wednesdays are for a little wine. Like if you agree! 👏🏻🍷💗🐾”, reads the caption. The photo’s since picked up nearly 27,000 likes, partly because of the ensuing meme’s popularity. See the original post below.

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How did such a cute picture of Whitney Chewston transmogrify into the ‘homophobic dog’ meme?

Some time before March 2021, an anonymous Instagram artist created an image macro using the photo of the dog, captioned using the Whisper app, “not too fond of gay people” – writes Know Your Meme.

The earliest current post of the meme is from 23 March 2021. But back then, it had nothing like the viral popularity the “homophobic dog” meme presently enjoys.

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Source: Instagram [whitney_chewston]

Images of Whitney Chewston became the subject of “ironic homophobic memes” in 2022, adds Know Your Meme.

On 3 March 2022, Twitter user @ForeverElSanto shared three Whitney Chewston “homophobic dog” memes, which collectively got nearly 62K likes.

Lil Nas X joined the fray on 25 March, amplifying the meme’s popularity yet again. His post, requesting “more pictures of that homophobic dog”, picked up 133.4K likes. It also led several other Twitter users to share more such memes.

Unpacking the claim that Washington Post journalist Taylor Lorenz wrote that Chewston was the ‘new face of online homophobia’

Snopes published a Fact Check filed under Viral Phenomena today (17 May 2022).

It asks the question, did the Washington Post publish, “This Dog is the New Face of Online Homophobia”? The answer is a straightforward no.

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The article is not real. The screenshot has been doctored.

But that’s not to say it didn’t convince people. When its apparent creator posted it on Twitter yesterday, little did they know it would garner nearly half a million likes. They’ve since shared Snopes’ Fact Check, adding, “I’ve officially succeeded in posting misinformation on the Internet”.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ spokesperson Christina Pushaw shared the supposed screenshot along with what Snopes describes as “scathing claims” about Lorenz’ reporting in the past.

Nikki Fried communications director Keith Edwards replied, “This is a fake story”.

For her part, Taylor Lorenz tweeted yesterday, “Get me to 500k followers and I’ll actually write this article”.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.