Like many of this tactics the "crisis actors" narrative has been used both by industry and in the political sphere. It refers to the tactic of accusing any group of protestors or critics of one's actions or industry of being paid actors.
Industries that use or have used it: Food, guns, oil, tobacco
- The earliest example of Ivy Lee's assertion that the protestors at Standard Oil's mine in Ludlow, Colorado were actors hired by the local labor union and the protest was staged by famed activist Mother Jones. None of that was true, but the fact that such a story could be told was irresistible for other spin masters. Ironically, the only groups that have been documented as actually using crisis actors are industry groups (the most recent example being Entergy in Louisiana, a utility that hired paid actors to testify in support of the company's proposed New Orleans East power plant before the City Council).
- The most famous recent example of deploying the "crisis actors" narrative is rightwing commentator Alex Jones' accusing the bereaved parents of Sandy Hook victims of being crisis actors paid by the gun-hating left. The Parkland teens have also been accused of being crisis actors, as were immigrants trapped at the U.S. border.