Technical Error Created ‘Donald Trump’ Cameo in Disney+’s Elton John Concert

By Jessica Lerner 

Disney+ subscribers watching Elton John’s live-streamed farewell North American concert at Dodger Stadium were surprised when Donald Trump made an unexpected appearance.

During the live broadcast on Sunday night, viewers noticed the former president’s name mixed in with the closed captioning for the songs Levon and Candle in the Wind.

Naturally, they took to social media to express their confusion, speculating that someone would be fired over the incident.


So how exactly did this happen?

TMZ initially attributed this to a hack of the streamer’s closed captioning feature, but Variety credits it as a technical error.

Disney+ hired a third party to provide live closed captioning, which combined automated speech-to-text recognition with a human operator to double-check the transcription, the news outlet reports.

As a result, the term “Donald Trump” was in the program’s autofill keyword list, as the third-party vendor routinely transcribes news events, and would be activated by a keyboard shortcut command. Unfortunately, Trump was accidentally entered into the wrong place before the human operator could correct the error, per Variety.

Deadline reports all references to Trump have since been removed.

The concert, which is part of Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, will focus on the music legend as he receives support from more than 50,000 fans in person and countless more online. It’s one of the biggest send-offs in music history, including special guests and performances of unmatched global songs spanning decades.