A Poster for a Fake ‘Golden Girls’ Reboot Has Led to Death Threats for Its Creator

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/YODA BBY ABY/Facebook
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/YODA BBY ABY/Facebook

Just a week before April Fools’ Day, the internet has fallen for a viral hoax. Over the weekend, a poster for a supposed Disney+ reboot of The Golden Girls has appeared out of thin air—with no announcement, casting news, or first-look images in sight—and been making the rounds on Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), Reddit, and more. Featuring an A-List cast of comedy legends dolled up in their finest gray curls, all that the internet wanted to know was: Is this real?

No, neither the poster nor the reboot is real; although, if you fell for it, you’re certainly not alone. The poster—which features Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Lisa Kudrow, two of whom seem to be edited to look older, with the others appearing as they are now—was shared around X this weekend.

Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, and Lisa Kudrow in a fake poster for a Golden Girls reboot.

Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, and Lisa Kudrow in a fake poster for a Golden Girls reboot.

The Daily Beast/YODA BBY ABY/Facebook

“I don’t want this!!” reads a post featuring the image that now has more than four million views. While many people echoed this sentiment in the replies, other social media users have questioned if people who fell for this fake news should be allowed to vote.

Fey, Poehler, Rudolph, and Kudrow’s reps did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment about this fake poster. Disney+ also did not respond to comment.

This post has also spawned another meme movement of social media users plugging fake reboots by recreating famous TV show casts with bizarre stars—like Timothée Chalamet, Addison Rae, Austin Butler, and Josh Peck in Seinfeld. The fake Golden Girls reboot poster has inspired countless new gags, hysteria about some aging TV stars possibly replacing the late Betty White, and general confusion about its authenticity. But the biggest question: Where the hell did it come from?

Both the image and original post, uploaded to Facebook on March 20, comes from anonymous meme creator YODA BBY ABY, who proudly deem themselves the “King of Facebook Fake News.” In an email interview with The Daily Beast, YODA BBY ABY says that since the post—their latest and perhaps biggest of these kinds of jokes—went viral, they’ve received not only attention but even death threats on Facebook Messenger.

“The recent one was them telling me they had ‘a rope and a shovel with my name on it and I should hope I’ve enjoyed life because they’re coming for me,’” YODA BBY ABY tells The Daily Beast. “Which was a little much but I’ve received threats to kill myself, to do my family a favor, before and more. People seem to get very primal anger over these things. So strange.”

While this is an extreme reaction, YODA is somewhat used to social media firestorms. The content creator has been making these satirical posts since October 2023, editing the images with a combination of Picsart and AI tools. Another popular fake post shows Kiernan Shipka as Cher in a reboot of Clueless; the page’s most recent artwork shows Jim Carrey in a (fake) third installment of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

YODA BBY ABY’s Facebook page is littered with warnings that their posts aren’t real. “I'm just here to eat frogs, lift rocks and be satirical. The page is 100% satire and fake news,” reads their bio. The only place where there isn’t a disclaimer, however, is on the posts themselves—which can circulate all over the internet and, thanks to Facebook users who don’t want to ensure a page is verified news before assuming something is real, be mistaken as an actual announcement.

Not including a warning on the posts themselves is a conscious decision, says YODA BBY ABY. “I want people to click my page and share but also, I think people should dig a little deeper,” they say. “They should want to go check the page to see what's up before clicking that share button.”

“The first time I had a post explode virally, I put it all over my page,” they add. “I realized I needed to give people the chance to see that it's all for fun and just brain candy of a graphic design nerd.”

The idea for the Golden Girls reboot post came to YODA BBY ABY while they were watching the show on Hulu—“my favorite bedtime show,” YODA says. Realizing they hadn’t made a spoof poster for the beloved American sitcom, YODA whipped out Picsart to draft something right that moment.

“I got to thinking about ladies that could portray each role perfectly and I went to work looking for some images I could use,” says the creator. “I love the show, to be honest. I love that even in the early 1980s, this show was a giant call to arms against discrimination against many stepped-on communities.”

Sometimes, a single image can take “hours” to make, says YODA. To make the Golden Girls spoof, the creator found several images to alter. “Maya was just Maya and Amy’s face was put onto an AI person,” they write, saying that Kudrow was also placed onto an AI person. “[Editing] Tina was some effort. I used a photo of Tina Fey, changed her hair in FaceApp, and then aged her in FaceApp.”

The Facebook post, which has now garnered over 135 reactions, 85 thousand shares, and thousands of comments, comes with a promising premise for the new stars: “This June, get ready to laugh until it hurts with Disney+'s brand new series, ‘The Golden Girls,’ featuring the comedic genius of Tina Fey as Dorothy, Amy Poehler as Sophia, Lisa Kudrow as Rose, and Maya Rudolph as Blanche,” it reads, sounding like a real announcement from the trades. “Prepare for a whirlwind of witty banter, unexpected friendships, and the funniest golden era you've ever seen – only on Disney+!”

While many Facebook users completely bought the image, a handful of social media users have pointed out that some of the women look more highly edited than others. Kudrow and Poehler, for example, have white hair, whereas Rudolph and Fey look mostly the same. “The unedited pictures of tina and maya are nasty,” one X user shared.

“Honestly, it was a tired decision,” YODA explains. “I’ve spent hours working on posts to have them go nowhere and I kind of just edited it there and fine tuned the edges on it and sent it into the world.”

After uploading it, YODA BBY ABY says they woke up to a flurry of interactions on the post. “I’ve had some posts go very viral and it is truly hit and miss,” they say, “but I honestly did not expect this one to go as viral as it did.”

Although the Golden Girls poster was (mostly) all fun and games, YODA BBY ABY is a bit nervous about how quickly misinformation can go viral. Fake news can spread easily on platforms like Facebook—look at how many people thought Disney+ kept this huge reboot under wraps until a couple of months before its alleged release date—and with the possibility of AI manipulation, dangerous misinformation could spread like wildfire—and more easily.

“I do worry about AI,” YODA writes. “I've seen what other people have done with it with Taylor Swift and such vulgar things, which is why I use it for fun things, that may for a moment make someone happy and excited even if later they may be disappointed to find out it wasn't real.”

With all that in mind, YODA BBY ABY confesses that they were just as upset as all the people who were disappointed that the Golden Girls reboot wasn’t real as they posted it on Facebook.

“I would 100% watch it,” they say of a reboot. “I got sad after making it because I would love to watch it as I think the chemistry would be amazing between these wonderful ladies.”

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