A trickster with a fake Will Ferrell twitter feed pulled the wool over the press’ eyes over the weekend when he or she—posing as the comic actor—dared not only weigh in on the Trayvon Martin tragedy, but demanded the Florida teen’s admitted killer, neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, face the death penalty.
Too bad some in the media didn’t realize Ferrell doesn’t even tweet!
The confusion started when the owner of the account @RealFerrellWill issued a tweet on Saturday seeking to raise awareness and donations in Trayvon’s name.
“R.I.P. Trayvon Martin,” wrote the imposter. “For every R-T this tweet gets, $1 will be donated to the #TrayvonMartin Foundation, which helps counteract racism.”
Several outlets failed not only to check if the Trayvon Martin Foundation actually exists (it doesn’t), but also to verify whether it was actually Will doing the tweeting (it wasn’t, according to his spokesman).
“He doesn’t have a Twitter page,” Ferrell’s publicist, Matt LaBov, tells E! News. “He’s had a lot of imposters over the years just like Seth Rogen and a lot of other celebrities and unfortunately there’s no way Twitter seems to get a handle on verifying who’s who. It’s unfortunate there are not better safeguards in place.”
But the fake Ferrell wasn’t done. On Sunday, the account issued a more serious missive:
“I truly believe that Zimmermon should have the death penalty.. #TrayvonMartin was a innocent kid who just wanted to eat some skittles.”
With word of the hoax surfacing in the blogosphere, Twitter finally took action and @RealFerrellWill has since been supended.
Now if only the microblogging site would do something about all the other imposters out there (like this other guy) claiming to be the comedian….