Morgan Freeman has been the victim of a hoax, which distastefully attributed false comments to the actor about the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting.
Freeman is well known to hold an air of authority among Hollywood actors, and when he speaks people tend to listen. So when a statement emerged on Saturday blaming the media for sensationalizing the school massacre, and it was attributed to Freeman, then thousands of people spoke out against the comments.
The controversial comments quickly spread across the internet and onto social media websites Facebook and Twitter.
However, his publicist, Stan Rosenfield, confirmed on Sunday that Freeman had not spoken or posted any of the divisive comments, according to The Wrap.
The hoax statement initially attributed to Morgan said, "It's because of the way the media reports it. 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?"
The statement added, "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 statements, which were not made by Freeman, also went on to rebuke CNN for using the term "body count." The statement claimed that using such a term in relation to the school shooting would incite more killings.
The comments concluded, "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."
On Friday a lone gunman shot his mother dead at their home, before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut killing 20 first grade children all aged six and seven, as well as six adults. All the victims were reportedly shot multiple times. President Barack Obama has called the tragedy "heartbreaking" and he traveled to the area on Sunday to join a prayer vigil and meet the families affected by the shooting, as well as to meet and thank first responders.