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Morgan Freeman clears up Internet hoax about shootings

By Todd Cunningham
TheWrap

Turns out Morgan Freeman hasn't spoken his mind on the school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

Having played all manner of heavyweights -- even God -- in his career, Freeman commands attention, and we he speaks out, people tend to listen. So Saturday, when a statement blaming the media for sensationalizing the shootings was attributed to the respected actor, it quickly became a Facebook and Internet sensation.

More: Latest developments on the shooting tragedy from MSN News

But he never made or posted any statement, his publicist Stan Rosenfield told TheWrap Sunday. He said the actor's camp was trying to determine the origin of the hoax statement.

"It's because of the way the media reports it," the phony statement read in part. "Turn on the news and see how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single 'victim' of Columbine?

"Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basement see the news and want to top it by doing something worse and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster instead of a sad nobody."

The statement also takes CNN to task over its use of the phrase "body count" in relation to the Newtown shootings and said the news coverage would incite more killings.

"So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or maternity ward next."

Reddit users pointed to long Facebook post by "Mark" of Vancouver that is identical to Freeman's "statement," according to the Inquisitor. "Mark" later commented on his own post, "If I know the Internet, someone will attribute the quote to Morgan Freeman or Betty White and it'll go viral."

Apparently so.

More from TheWrap:
Newtown School Shootings: Michael Moore Says 'Bowling For Columbine' Speaks for Him
Newtown School Shootings: Paramount Postpones Premiere of 'Jack Reacher'

 

126Comments
Dec 16, 2012 6:52PM
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If I were him, I would have said "I wish I did say it".

Dec 16, 2012 6:46PM
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Somebody should lock Morgan Freeman and Ted Nugent in a room and charge admission. I, for one, would pay to watch and listen.
Dec 16, 2012 6:45PM
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Regardless who said it, the truth of it is that it IS THE TRUTH!  "The media", print, internet, and cable tv, are all guilt as charged.  It IS a sad day when all the bad, the evil, twisted sickos and psychos are the ones that are remembered...  yet, that is how it's always been.  Remember Ted Bundy???  Can anyone (other than parents) recall the name of any one of his victims?
Dec 16, 2012 6:44PM
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No matter who wrote it, it needed to be said. When you think about the statement, it makes a lot of sense and the killers name should be taken off the media. Remember the fallen not the killer.
Dec 16, 2012 6:35PM
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I agree with the statement from whoever wrote it , even if Morgan Freeman did not write it, I bet he would agree with it.
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