On Tuesday, Grantland published a Gene Hackman career retrospective with the title, “The Greatest Living American Actor at 85: Gene Hackman Is Gone But Still in Charge.” Seems fairly straightforward, no? Hackman’s one of the country’s best actors, he’s 85, he’s in charge, he’s…HE’S GONE?
Actually, he’s retired. The article intended to emphasize Hackman’s stellar career in light of his decision to leave acting, but social media skimmers assumed otherwise. The Hollywood Reporter cleared the air.
Hackman’s rep confirmed to ABC News that the two-time Oscar winner is indeed among the living. Meanwhile, Grantland has changed the wording of its headline from “gone” to “retired” and added an update to the story, clarifying that Hackman, who turns 85 on Friday, is “very much alive.”
Nonetheless, the original misinterpretation went viral, sending Twitter’s condolence hyper-drive into high gear:
Even actor Dylan McDermott ventured into the fray, offering his own mournful tweet:
Once news of the headline confusion made the rounds, McDermott deleted the tweet and offered something slightly less cordial:
No, it’s not a celebrity hoax either, Mr. McDermott. If your first tweet is any indication, you’re still not reading the linked content (like the rest of us). Welcome to the internet.