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Politifact Awards Glee ‘Pants On Fire’ For False Ricky Martin Claim About Americans Speaking Spanish

Fact-checking website PolitiFact took Fox’s musical series Glee to task for offering an inaccurate citation of how many people will use Spanish as their first language in the year 2030. Pop star Rick Martin made a guest appearance as Spanish teacher David Martinez, and asked his classroom, “Did you know that the U.S. Census believes that, by 2030, the majority of Americans will use Spanish as their first language?” PolitiFact discovered that the writers of the show had invented the claim.

PolitiFact’s Amy Sherman, found that the figure was not only wrong but, in fact, “pants on fire” for the alleged figure. “The Census Bureau predicts that in 2030 about 23 percent of the U.S. population will be Hispanic — but all of those Hispanics in the future won’t speak Spanish as their first language,” Sherman explains.

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Sherman said Martin’s erroneous citation flabbergasted the Census Bureau. “We don’t do projections of language spoken,” a census spokesman told Sherman. “That’s very strange someone would cite us.”

The U.S. Census does not ask citizens about languages spoken, so there would be no way to determine such a statistic.

Sherman explains further:

Two census researchers projected that somewhere between 13 and 15.3 percent of people in the U.S. will speak Spanish in 2020 — a far cry from the majority of Americans, and we don’t know how many of those will speak it as their first language. They said the numbers from 2030 would still be nowhere close to the 50-percent mark.

Ricky Martin may have looked good singing in his tight pants, but we’re going to light the show’s pants on fire anyway. Pants on fire! And though they don’t say it like this in Spanish: Pantalones en fuego!

Glee producers had no comment. Sherman told Mediaite that she had caught the error herself. “I watched the show and heard it,” she explains. “We often do fact checks based on suggestions/questions from our readers but in this case I came across it myself.”

Watch the segment that PolitiFact called “Pants on Fire”, below:

h/t PolitiFact

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