Television personality and restaurateur Guy Fieri will not be this spring’s commencement speaker, according to a campus spokesperson, despite misinformation that circulated on social media over the last two weeks.
“He hasn’t been invited,” said campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof in an email. “There are no plans to invite him. He won’t be the commencement speaker.”
Rumors of Fieri’s selection spread through Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Yik Yak, as well as other online platforms. A fake Daily Californian news article announcing Fieri’s selection was also posted to Reddit.
Michael Dirda, from the campus office of public affairs, replied to one of the Reddit threads Wednesday regarding Fieri to dispel the rumors about his selection.
“Alright hold the phone, Dora,” Dirda commented on the thread. “Guy Fieri ain’t yo commencement speaker. There’s an ‘ask’ out to someone very cool; that’s the latest.”
The incident comes after controversy surrounding comedian Bill Maher’s selection as the speaker for last semester’s commencement. Students at UC Berkeley and other college campuses, who participated in a petition and protests after the announcement of Maher’s selection in October, criticized Maher’s controversial remarks on religion, among other contentious comments made by the comedian.
Earlier in March, Mogulof said the campus does not yet know when the spring commencement speaker will be announced.