Angela Bassett’s son Slater Vance has “sincerely” apologised to Michael B Jordan after taking part in a “harmful” TikTok trend widely known as the “celebrity death prank”.
The viral prank, which gained traction around Christmas and continued until the end of 2022, consists of someone covertly filming another person, usually a parental figure, while telling them a famous figure has passed away.
In a since-deleted TikTok video, Bassett’s 16-year-old son, whom she shares with her husband fellow actor Courtney B Vance, falsely informed his parents of Jordan’s death at age 35.
The video shows Bassett putting her hand over her heart in shock while repeatedly saying, “Uh-huh, uh-huh”. Before the clip ends, Courtney can be heard telling his son, “Stop it. You’re playing”.
As Bassett and Jordan are co-stars in the Black Panther films, Vance’s prank was particularly criticised for citing a celebrity that his mother knew personally.
Vance issued an apology in a now-deleted Instagram video, posted Saturday (31 December).
“I apologise to Michael B Jordan’s entire family, his extended family, and him directly as he is an idol of mine,” he said.
“Taking part in a trend like this is completely disrespectful. I don’t wish any bad ramifications upon his family nor my parents as they deserve none of the backlash.”
“I own this was a mistake,” he continued. “I hope this can be a teaching lesson to anyone who uses social media as a tool and a source of entertainment to truly understand that your actions can have consequences that extend beyond you.”
The Independent has contacted a representative for Bassett for comment.
The viral prank has divided social media users, with many demanding an end be put to the “disgusting” trend”.