For Spanish-language right-wing media, the latest “episode in the war against woke” is being fought between the Barbie movie — which was condemned by some of the right-wing media world — and Sound of Freedom, the QAnon adjacent movie that earned unexpected summer box office numbers with the help of a built-in “pay it forward” scheme.
Since its release in theaters on July 4, Sound of Freedom has become a hit in right-wing media circles, including among Spanish-language conservative personalities on radio and social media who have also been vocal in supporting the film’s producer Eduardo Verasteugi – a popular conservative religious and political activist in Mexico and the United States.
Verastegui reportedly served on former President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Hispanic Prosperity and was heavily involved in the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial campaign of Kari Lake — who is at the very least a friend of QAnon media — shooting endorsement ads and attending campaign events. Most recently, Verastegui attended Trump’s screening of Sound of Freedom at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and met with Republican members of Congress weeks before giving a speech at House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) event to promote the film.
Verastegui has also made numerous appearances on conservative outlets to promote the movie, including on Americano Media, the Trump-aligned network angling to become the Fox News of Spanish-speaking America. During a live-streamed interview with Americano’s Carines Moncada, Verastegui agreed that in the United States, human trafficking “has to do with [political] parties,” adding that “it seems like they are involved in this crime” — a claim that directly appeals to a QAnon conspiracy theory that Democrats in the United States are involved in child smuggling on a global scale.
Praise for Sound of Freedom
Shortly after its release, Spanish-language right-wing media embraced Sound of Freedom as the “movie of the century,” ignoring major concerns about the film's credibility and some of the cast’s connections to the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Jim Caviezel, for example, who plays purported anti-trafficking activist Tim Ballard, has been an active promoter of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Most recently, Fabian Marta, an angel investor for the film, was arrested and charged with felony child kidnapping, according to a Missouri court filing.
As part of its ongoing culture war coverage, Spanish-language right-wing media have continued to defend Sound of Freedom, pitting the movie against Barbie and spreading false claims that critics are part of a larger “agenda” of “Hollywood and its band of pedophiles.”
Noticias del Fin, a conspiracy theory page with over 1.9 million followers on Facebook, shared a video arguing that Sound of Freedom is being “demonized” despite Barbie being the movie with “satanic messages.” In the video, page owner Juan Carlos de Jesus asked, “Why mainstream media is promoting and praising Barbie while underestimating, demonizing, and trying to silence Sound of Freedom.” De Jesus then claimed, “Women are everything. Men are nothing. Those are [Barbie’s] satanic messages that go against the Bible.”
On Facebook, Americano Media political analyst Nelson Albino referred to “BARBIE v.s. SOUND OF FREEDOM” as “another episode in the war against the WOKE Agenda.” Albino argued Sound of Freedom is about “the value of family in society and promotes the role of man as protector,” and therefore depicts “the role model society needs."
Jorge Bonilla, the conservative operative who recently joined Americano Media as a political analyst, argued it was predictable that “the media would be ready” to “brand the movie as conspiratorial” because “we are in a groomer culture.” Bonilla claimed, “We are in a groomer culture that favors sexually grooming children in schools and … other institutions rotten and captured by the radical left.”
Americano Media’s Emmanuel Rincon urged his social media followers to “open their eyes about today’s Mainstream Media,” claiming only “child traffickers and pedophiles” could hate Sound of Freedom. Rincon also praised Sound of Freedom as “the movie of the century.”
On Entre Lineas, Americano Media radio host Freddy Silva claimed, “It is repugnant how the progressive press” is “slinging mud” and “trying to discredit” Sound of Freedom. He also allowed guest Erick Fajardo to claim Sound of Freedom is “a very important victory” against “the deep state.”
Fransheska Cabrera, a conservative TikToker with over 274,000 followers and 3.7M likes, shared a video claiming Sound of Freedom “is being silenced” while Barbie’s alleged anti-man and anti-family rhetoric is “being uplifted and praised by the media.” Cabrera also claimed Barbie was “just like everything else in the 2030 agenda.”
Carines Moncada shared a Facebook post urging parents to see Sound of Freedom instead of Barbie and protect their children from “woke culture and ideology.” Moncada claimed the Barbie movie is being “heavily promoted and praised by mainstream media,” while Sound of Freedom has been “underestimated, demonized, and silenced,” adding, “What else can be expected from Hollywood and its band of pedophiles?”
Americano Media journalist Emmanuel Rondón wrote an article claiming “the woke media attacked” and “compared Sound of Freedom to QAnon for no reason.” In his article, Rondón celebrated the movie’s “success at the ticket office” and claimed critics in The Guardian, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and Jezebel are “biased against Christians … Republicans, and anything that doesn't fit their version of society.”