Mail Online has apologised to Pirates of the Caribbean actor Michael Enright after wrongly claiming he had been “kicked out” of Syria and the Kurdish militia group fighting Islamic State that he left Hollywood to join.
The article, published on 4 August and since corrected, reported that Enright had returned to Syria to fight ISIS, despite being “kicked out of the fighting units” of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and sent home because “other Western fighters wanted to kill him”.
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Enright complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), of which Mail Online is a member, that the report breached accuracy and harassment clauses in the Editor’s Code of Practice.
He said he had not been “kicked out” of Syria and that these claims were inaccurate. He also said that his portrayal in the article constituted harassment as it had negatively affected his ability to get acting work.
The Mail Online denied the article was in violation of the code, saying that the allegations, based on social media posts by a person who had fought alongside the actor in Syria, had been presented as claims.
It also included Enright’s denial of the allegations, with Enright quoted as saying: “…none of the soldiers I fought with say that at all”.
Enright’s claim that his fellow soldiers had looked down on both his age and his career as an actor, but they did not want to “kill” him, was also included.
Following IPSO’s intervention, the Mail Online apologised and issued a standalone correction, which read: “An earlier version of this article stated that Michael Enright had previously been kicked out of the YPG army and Syria.
“Neither claim is true, and we are happy to set the record straight and apologise for any upset caused.”
The article has also been amended, with a footnote correction added. Reader comments have also been removed from the article.