After the shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, words attributed to Morgan Freeman began to circulate regarding guns and shootings. Did Morgan Freeman make this statement?
It’s a hoax.
Morgan Freeman did not make the statement on schools and gun control. It was claimed to be a hoax led by some who wanted to publicize a rant posted by someone on Facebook. By attributing it to Morgan Freeman, it was hoped that the rant would spread – which it did.
According to a post on Reddit: “Couple of us thought it’d be funny, since it was a well written article, to attribute it to Morgan Freeman. Day Later, Reddit Front Page. Bravo, Internet.” Here is a screenshot of what they claim to be the original post on Facebook.
Let’s take a look at the rant falsely attributed to Morgan Freeman:
Morgan Freeman’s brilliant take on what happened yesterday :
“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.
It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch 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 basements 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.
CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.
You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”
Even after it became apparent that the rant was not the work of Morgan Freeman, writers still felt compelled to respond to it, which only added to its proliferation. Attempts at correcting the Morgan Freeman reference went largely unnoticed.