News of Canadian-American actor Tommy Chong’s death spread quickly online earlier this week causing concern among fans around the world. However, the September report has now been confirmed as a complete hoax and that makes the actor the latest celebrity to fall victim to fake death reports. Thankfully, the comedian best known for his roles in Cheech and Chong: Up in Smoke and That 70’s Show is alive and well.
Rumors of Chong’s alleged death gained traction after a Facebook page ‘R.I.P. Tommy Chong’ attracted nearly a million ‘likes’, victimizing fans and many concerned Netizens.
A viral post which is making the rounds online, said that the actor/comedian lost his long-fought battle with cancer and asked the fans to pay tribute to the deceased actor. Another post, reported by Morning News USA, claimed that Chong took his own life. There are even reports that suggest that the actor died because of excessive marijuana use.
However, all these reports originated from a site called ViralTimeLapse.com with a headline claiming that “the actor lost his battle with cancer.” Snopes, a site dedicated in investigating hoaxes, reported that the web site Viral Time first posted Chong’s death on December 15, 2015. It went on to say that Viral Time Lapse posted the same false news again in March 2016 and yet again in August 2016.
On Friday (September 23) the actor’s reps officially confirmed that Tommy Chong is not dead. “He joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by this hoax. He’s still alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet,” they said. In fact, Chong posted on his own Twitter account, saying “he’s stoned but not dead.”
Some fans have expressed anger at the false report saying it was hurtful, reckless and distressing to fans of the beloved actor. Others say this shows his extreme popularity across the globe.
Photo Courtesy: David Shankbone/Wikipedia.org