- Slater Vance has joined a TikTok trend where users lie to their parents about celebrity deaths.
- He later apologized for lying about the death of Bassett’s Black Panther co-star Michael B. Jordan.
- Many social media users called the trend unpleasant.
This was another TikTok trend that went too far.
That’s what 16-year-old Slater Vance learned last week, after joining in using his own famous parents: actors Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance.
The trend involves users pranking their families on camera, claiming that celebrities – usually those loved by their parents – have died. The trend surged in popularity over the holiday season as families gathered and kids flocked home for the holidays, with TikTok users temporarily bluffing in living rooms, kitchens and grocery stores around the world.
As of January 1, the hashtag “celebritydeathprank” had more than 174 million views on the app, with “deadcelebrityprank” nearly as many.
Slater Vance joined while pretending to read the news that actor Michael B. Jordan had died at the age of 35, to which Bassett reacted with apparent shock and distress.
Social media users were quick to note that Jordan actually being a colleague of Bassett’s — they co-starred in 2018’s Black Panther and its sequel together — might have taken the prank from unpleasant to harmful. Chadwick Boseman, another young co-star of Bassett’s Black Panther, died of colon cancer in 2020, news that also came abruptly to the film’s cast and crew.
The elder Vance has also worked with Jordan, with the two executives producing the “61st Street” show on AMC.
Vance has since deleted the video from TikTok and issued a remorseful apology for the creation of the video.
“I would like to apologize for participating in such a harmful trend,” he said on Saturday. “I apologize to all of Michael Jordan’s family, his extended family directly because he’s an idol of mine, and participating in a trend like this is completely disrespectful.”
Even as much keep enjoying and sharing videos, some social media users have been prophetic about the trend’s potential to go south as it did with Vance, including Grammy-winning Finneas O’Connell.
“I haven’t laughed once at any of your videos of you telling your parents someone’s dead when they’re not actually dead,” said O’Connell, who often collaborates with his sister. , Billie Eilish, in her own TikTok video. “That’s mean. Your parents show vulnerability for a brief second and you laugh at them. That’s mean. Stop it.”
Twitter users say Slater Vance TikTok’s New Year’s Eve may have killed off the viral prank, which saw the names of Jon Bon Jovi, Oprah Winfrey and Cher taken in vain.
“Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance just ended this TikTok trend and we owe them a debt of gratitude,” one user said. said.
Slater Vance expressed his wish that others could learn from him.
“I recognize this mistake and hope this can be a lesson for anyone who uses social media as a tool and a source of entertainment to truly understand that their actions can have consequences that go beyond you.” he declared.