When actor Kevin Spacey, who plays a president on 'House of Cards,' posted a selfie of himself and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto this month on Twitter, most didn't think much of it -- at first.
But recently, the posting erupted into a full-scale debate about politicians paying for positive coverage on social media.
The Miami Herald reports that 'it wasn't long until a blogger for Forbes magazine reported that the meeting between the two was no accident: Spacey had been paid [$8 million] by the Mexican Tourism Board to attend the event -- and appear with Pena Nieto.'
Many Mexicans were angry, criticizing Nieto for 'paying his favorite actors' when there are 'so many children on the streets and families without a job," according to CNN.Spacey was quick to respond, tweeting: 'I guess nobody got the joke. I was in character as Francis Underwood in House of Cards, not myself! I don't know jack about Mexican politics.'
On May 16, he tweeted again: 'Story about Mex Gov paying 8m or any amount for selfie not true! Was In Mex for Tourist Board event. Meeting President not planned at all.'
CNN reached out to Mexican officials for comment, who said that Spacey was paid to appear at the tourism event 'as part of events general program' but 'not to pose with the President.'
Head of the tourism board, Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, also denied the allegations made by Forbes, saying Spacey had not been paid $8.66 million to attend the event, declaring the sum 'wrong and without a source.'
Though many are still upset.
According to smh.com, 'Pena Nieto has 2.6 million followers on Twitter and knows a thing or two about image crafting. On his arm when he came to office in late 2012 was Angelica Rivera, a beloved television soap opera star whom he had married two years earlier.'
A reader of 24 Horas commented: 'Let's not stop in complying with our fiscal obligations,' the reader wrote, 'so that Peña the Clown can keep on paying his favorite actors. Imbecile. So many children on the streets and families without a job and he's spending Mexico's money in his (expletive) hobbies.'