Tom Cruise impersonator Jerome LeBlanc kicked off Instagram for pretending to be someone

A Tom Cruise lookalike has been kicked off Instagram for impersonating someone, destroying his business.

Jerome LeBlanc, 33, of Quebec, Canada, who lives in San Diego, California, has been removed from the social media platform for violating one of the “community guidelines” of apps that prohibit people from impersonating others.

The Instagram rules state, “Creating an account to impersonate someone else violates Community Guidelines and may lead to your account being deleted.”

The app further advises: “Don’t pretend to be the real individual or brand. This includes: Speaking in the voice or portraying yourself as the individual, brand or organization. Misrepresentation of your relationship to the individual, brand or organization.”

Jerome LeBlanc, 33, built his Tom Cruise lookalike business in 10 years, but has now been kicked off Instagram

LeBlanc impersonating the real-life Tom Cruise and his character Maverick, pictured, from the 1986 movie Top Gun

LeBlanc impersonating the real-life Tom Cruise and his character Maverick, pictured, from the 1986 movie Top Gun

Blanc, who is blessed with good looks, looks uncannily like the real Tom Cruise, could have found work posing as the Top Gun actor and built his Instagram following over the course of six years.

After building more than 30,000 followers, his sudden removal from Instagram led to a sharp decline in the company.

“It was quite a blow to a self-employed person like me to lose an account that brought me so much revenue,” LeBlanc tells DailyMail.com.

LeBlanc was first banned from the platform in June 2021. He appealed and was reinstated before being jailed weeks later.

Instagram has twice suspended LeBlanc for

Instagram has twice suspended LeBlanc for “impersonating” and violating the app’s Community Guidelines. He is pictured at a meet and greet with fans in 2020

LeBlanc often performs in person at military themed events

LeBlanc often performs in person at military themed events

“I tried to appeal the disabling of my account, explaining that I was impersonating a fictional character, but without success. They said, “I pretended to be someone and my name didn’t match the account.” Of course I didn’t pretend to be anyone, I pretended to be a fictional character.’

LeBlanc began providing Instagram docs that hopefully would make the Facebook-owned company reconsider. LeBlanc provided them with information, including a business license showing it had a similar business, but the decision was a determined “no.”

“I started appealing three times a day for weeks. Finally I got a different answer, they said I need a lawyer or someone on my behalf to prove my legitimacy. So I hired a lawyer. After thousands of dollars lost in the trial, and thousands spent on a lawyer trying to get my account back. They haven’t even responded to my lawyer,” LeBlanc explained.

LeBlanc is now forced to switch to TikTok to generate business.  He is in the picture in 2021

LeBlanc is now forced to switch to TikTok to generate business. He is in the picture in 2021

LeBlanc says he doesn't believe the real Tom Cruise, pictured above, is responsible for his being removed from Instagram, while others have suggested he might be.

LeBlanc says he doesn’t believe the real Tom Cruise, pictured above, is responsible for his being removed from Instagram, while others have suggested he might be.

“It’s impacted my business a lot because my instagram mainly followed a base in San Diego. That’s where I live. And to top it all off… This is all happening during a pandemic where we have to keep physical distance.’

Before going online, LeBlanc began impersonating Cruise’s character Maverick from Top Gun at age 23, on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles, where he posed with tourists.

In recent times, when LeBlanc wasn’t appearing in person at parties or larger events like the San Diego Comic Con for a fee of thousands, LeBlanc would monetize making personal videos for those who asked for about $80 at a time.

Despite speaking French as his first language, LeBlanc trained himself to perfect the signature Tom Cruise smile, a trademark of the Syracuse-born superstar.

Now married with two children, his impersonating role is his full-time job.

Since the inception of Instagram, LeBlanc has been forced to start from scratch and has now switched to TikTok and Cameo.

LeBlanc began impersonating Cruise's character Maverick from Top Gun at age 23, on Hollywood Blvd pictured above, in Los Angeles, where he would pose with tourists

LeBlanc began impersonating Cruise’s character Maverick from Top Gun at age 23, on Hollywood Blvd pictured above, in Los Angeles, where he would pose with tourists

He has managed to build a loyal fan base of more than 530,000 followers on TikTok in a short time. Even so, he is still disappointed in the way he was treated by Instagram.

“My career has mainly consisted of meet and greets and performances, and thanks to this platform I survived the whole pandemic by making videos for people and never going out of work. I’m extremely disappointed that such a large platform wouldn’t have a customer service system with real people responding.”

LeBlanc says he doesn’t believe the real actor is behind his suspension, but has heard that Cruise may Good behind the scenes have had some influence.

In November I tried to appeal again but the email just bounced, so I am currently definitively excluded from the appeal procedure.’

Despite a frustrating six months, LeBlanc remains humble. ‘I am very grateful for a career that is not only fun for me, but also fun for others. The exchange of energy that this work entails is absolutely fantastic.’

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