Source: Getty Images

AP Fact Check: No, 'Gayo' Isn't Real

Melissa Goldin READ TIME: 2 MIN.

CLAIM: An image shows a bottle of rainbow-colored mayonnaise called "Gayo" that was released by Kraft to celebrate Pride Month.

THE FACTS: The image was fabricated. It was first posted in 2022 by a social media user who goes by the name "Doctor Photograph" and frequently shares satirical images of fake products based on the real thing. Kraft Heinz, the company that owns the Kraft brand, confirmed to The Associated Press that "Gayo" is not real.

As this year's Pride Month kicked off on Saturday, the image spread out of context on social media, implying that "Gayo" is an actual product.

It shows someone's hand holding a bottle of what is supposedly rainbow-colored mayonnaise in front of a grocery store shelf. "Real Gayo," the label reads, along with taglines such as "Smooth & Sassy" and "Add Pride to your next BLT." The Kraft logo also appears on the bottle.

Many posts shared the image with an added caption that reads, "what the hell is this." One on Instagram had received more than 29,000 likes as of Monday.

But no such condiment exists.

The image, which has been misrepresented online during previous Pride Months, was created by the social media user Doctor Photograph, whose real name is George. He declined to give his last name due to concerns that his family could be harassed if it is made public.

Doctor Photograph's X profile reads, "I create photoshopped labels, bootleg toys & doctored images." He first shared the "Gayo" image in 2022 with the hashtags "#photoshopped" and "#thatlooksdoctored." The user confirmed to the AP in an email that the image, which he made in Photoshop, "was definitely created as a joke for my followers."

"My photoshops have been stolen/repurposed in the past but in those instances, I felt like my work was being recycled for likes, whereas in this case I felt like somebody used my work to stoke hate, which I really struggled with," he added.

Kraft Heinz confirmed to the AP in an emailed statement that "this is not a real product."

Doctor Photograph shared a similar image in 2021, with minor differences. For example, the supposed rainbow of mayonnaise is horizontal rather than vertical and the label uses the tagline, "Take Pride in your next sandwich." Although the added caption in the image spreading on social media hides it, both fake labels include the text "(DoctorPhotograph)."

A post pinned to the top of Doctor Photograph's X profile shows the original photo of Kraft mayonnaise that he edited, along with both versions of the satirical "Gayo." Doctor Photograph posts many other images of fake satirical products, such as "Cannibal's Condensed Human Soup" and "I Fell Off the Cliff Bar."

by Melissa Goldin

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