LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – Will Smith is not dead. A fake death report today about Will Smith has resurfaced; the fabricated story about Smith in New Zealand is both angering and confusing fans. Today’s Will Smith report follows Adele, Selena Gomez, and Omarion fake death reports surfacing online earlier Friday as well.
Unlike recent fake death reports, like one about Bill Nye the Science Guy , today’s fake Will Smith story comes from a clear source. Several months ago, a dubious website authored a fake report that Smith died in New Zealand. That report today, however, is resurfacing, with a catch.
Global Associated authored the fake Smith report. “Actor Will Smith died while filming a movie in New Zealand earlier this morning” stated the fake death story. It added in the sentence after the word “morning” a dynamically changing date, which reads currently November 18, 2011.
For fans, however, the fake death report is familiar. The false Smith story claims he fell off the dubious “Kauri Cliffs while on-set”. The author has used the same “Kauri Cliffs” story before for identical stories about Dwayne Johnson, Tony Danza, Tom Hanks, and Jeff Goldblum, among others.
And while the fake report has earned the website nearly four hundred tweets, it’s ironically not the only fake death report about Will Smith by Global Associated. The same website has authored a report that Will Smith has died in a snowboarding accident (which he hasn’t).
If the words “Zermatt ski resort” and “snowboarding accident” sounds familiar, they should. The same website has made news killing off other celebrities with the same fictitious Zermatt snowboarding story before. Among the other celebrities targeted recently include Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, and Owen Wilson. It remains unclear if any those actors have ever even gone to Zermatt let alone currently snowboard.
Tonight, many fans are confused by the fake Smith reports, others are angry. “If you think Will Smith is dead you should probably be dead yourself” fumed one fan. Another said “everybody is telling me Will Smith is dead; is this true?” Some fans, however, didn’t fall for the fake report. “A … website reports that @Will Smith fell to his death in New Zealand. He’s not dead. He is legend.”
It remains unclear why certain celebrities are targeted for fake celebrity death reports, some repeatedly, while others are never victimized. The most prevalent industry using targeted is the music industry, and especially hip-hop artists and rappers. Three years ago, the situation was far different. Disney music stars like Nick Jonas and Miley Cyrus were named in fake death reports virtually every month.
But as 2011 rolls to an end, there is a clear upswing of reports targeting film actors especially. Moreover, as exemplified with Sandler and Guetta, the fake reports generally surface just as the celebrity launches a new film or releases a new album.
Yet, fans can certain that Will Smith is alive. Bill Nye is still the alive Science Guy. No celebrity has fallen off New Zealand cliffs today. And no notable film actor has been in a Zermatt snowboarding accident.