Did Danny DeVito Lose His ‘Verified’ Status on Twitter?

Actor Danny DeVito’s show of support for Nabisco workers gained attention on Twitter not just for the sentiment, but for the accusations that followed of reprisal from the platform.

“Support Nabisco workers striking for humane working hours, fair pay, outsourcing jobs,” DeVito wrote on August 18 2021. “NO CONTRACTS NO SNACKS.”

A day later, the labor news site More Perfect Union noted that the blue checkmark (or “badge”) accompanying DeVito’s profile — which verifies that his account is authentic and not a parody or impersonation — had disappeared:

“Today, Twitter stripped him of his verified status, DeVito confirmed to More Perfect Union,” the site said alongside a photo of DeVito’s tweet lacking the verification mark.

On August 20, 2021 however, the checkmark was visible on DeVito’s profile once again:

Faiz Shakir, founder of More Perfect Union, told us:

We reached out to Mr. DeVito directly to inquire about the change in his verification status, which he confirmed to us. He confirmed he sent the original tweet that gained much attention. We asked if there was an obvious explanation for why he lost his verified status, but he was as confused as us.

Therefore, we reported the story with the two facts we knew, and were careful not to ascribe intent as to why the checkmark was taken away.

We asked Twitter if DeVito had indeed been “de-verified” because of his pro-worker stance. A spokesperson sent us this statement in response:

The account referenced was debadged temporarily because the account’s information was incomplete. Our verification policy states that blue badges may be automatically removed from inactive and incomplete accounts, which require a confirmed email address or phone number. We have worked with the account holder to confirm the necessary information and the account’s verification has since been restored.

In all, DeVito’s statement of support has been shared more than 35,000 times on Twitter.

Nabisco bakery workers are currently on strike after negotiations broke down between the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union, whcih represents the workers, and Nabisco’s parent company Mondelez International.

Workers have accused the company of proposing cuts to overtime pay for twelve-hour shifts as well as 7-day work schedules with no increase for weekend hours.

“They currently want to change our overtime pay so that if you work all that time, you will eventually end up getting paid less for working that amount of time,” Nabisco worker Curt Terhaar told More Perfect Union.

DeVito himself has not commented publicly on the apparent changes to his Twitter status.

As the strike went on, the actor’s likeness was projected alongside the tweet:

On September 19 2021, More Perfect Union reported that the strike had been settled, with Nabisco workers retaining their health care plans and also winning a raise of 60 cents per hour a year for the next four years:

Anthony Shelton, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), said in a statement that members “made enormous sacrifices in order to achieve a quality contract that preserves our union’s high standards for wages, hours and benefits for current and future Nabisco workers. Their sacrifice will benefit all BCTGM members and working people around the country for years to come.”

However, while the new agreement was approved by the majority of the BCTGM’s membership, most of union’s members in Portland — where the strike originated — voted against it.

Update 9:57 a.m. 9/20/2021: Updated to reflect the end of the Nabisco workers strike.