Morgan Freeman is not dead, despite a report that originated on Facebook this week. A Morgan Freeman impersonator, though, did read aloud from the book "50 Shades of Grey."
The Facebook page in question quickly received thousands of "likes" even though there had been no confirmation of the news. The blogosphere and social media quickly lit up wondering whether or not the "Shawshank Redemption" actor had indeed died.
The news that Freeman hadn't died follows the false rumors that rapper 50 Cent and comedy superstar Eddie Murphy had also died. Murphy was said to have been killed in a snowboarding accident in Switzerland while 50 Cent was said to have been killed in a brutal car wreck; both stories originated at the fake "news" site Global Associated News.
Many Facebook users were irked when they heard the news was just a joke, although Gather.com reported the page garnered more than 10,000 likes in less than one day.
"Celebrities are still normal people with family members and friends just like us," one person on Facebook wrote according to Mstarz.com. "How would you feel if someone said your most precious loved one has passed away? You can't joke about someone's death."
The story that Freeman had died follows similar rumors "killing off" Bill Nye, Rihanna, Bill Cosby, Reese Witherspoon, Brad Pitt, Taylor Swift, Adele and dozens of other celebrities.
This isn't even the first time Freeman has been thought (by some) to be dead. In 2010, one Twitter user reported that CNN declared Freeman dead, an event that never took place, according to Popeater.com. That rumor, like this one two years later, spread so quickly at least in part because of the lack of fact-checking users have on social media sites. Emotion simply takes over their mind.
In another hoax related to the actor, a Morgan Freeman impersonator recently read the highly sexual book, "50 Shades of Grey" in the actor's signature, distinguished voice. You can watch that here, although the dialogue is highly NSFW.
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