Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vanceteenage boy slate end his 2022 on the hot seat. The 16-year-old recently issued an emotional apology after participating in what he now calls a “harmful” online trend.
Before we wrap up 2022, TikTok users popularized a prank for parents, which involved telling your friends that one of their favorite entertainers has passed away. ‘Pranks’ begins by pretending to read a headline–say the celebrity’s name, followed by the phrase “died at” and the celebrity’s age.
When Slater joined the trend, he called out Bassett’s co-star and former co-star Michael B. Jordan like a dead person. Both his participation and his mother’s reaction have caused heavy criticism online.
“I would like to sincerely apologize for participating in such a harmful trend. I apologize to the entire family, the extended family of Michael B. Jordan and directly apologize to him, because he is my idol,” Slater said. “And joining a trend like this is completely disrespectful.”
After Slater’s apology, Angela took to her Instagram to wish everyone a Happy New Year from her family, including a smiling Slater. She didn’t mention the teen’s incident but instead began her caption with a “Hey guys, are you good?”
This is what happened in the ‘Dead Michael B. Jordan’ video shared on TikTok
Slater’s video, which is only a few seconds long, begins with Bassett and her husband Vance walking out of the room, away from their child.
As they walked out, the teen called out to his parents and they turned to face him. Slater then asked, “Did you hear this, Michael B. Jordan died at the age of 35.
Angela was startled by the news with obvious fear and started walking towards her son with one hand on her chest. She kept repeating, “uh uh uh uh” as if to say, “no, no, no.” Bassett’s eyes seemed to water as she approached Slater, trying to look at his phone.
Still seemingly oblivious to his mother’s heartbreaking reaction, Slater attempted to continue the ‘joke’. But his mother was behind him, reaching for his recording phone and showing viewers Slater’s wry smile. Meanwhile, Vance, who was still standing near his spot when the recording started, shouted, “stop it” and “you are playing.” Before the clip was cut, Bassett was heard repeatedly saying, “What.”
Angela Bassett’s son joined the TikTok trend of faking celebrity death announcements and telling her that Michael B. Jordan had passed away. pic.twitter.com/0gO43k6m5G
– Pop Crave (@PopCrave) December 31, 2022
It’s not clear how long Bassett and Vance learned that Slater was playing a prank on them. We’re also not sure exactly what his parents told him. However, in the apology video, Slater shielded them from responsibility. Instead, he just blames himself and hopes others will learn from his mistakes.
“I don’t want any bad consequences from this, on my actions, on his family nor on my parents, because they don’t deserve any backlash,” Slater said. “I admit this was a mistake and I hope it can serve as a lesson for anyone else using social media as a tool and source of entertainment to truly understand that your actions can cause harm. the consequences are beyond your scope.”
Michael B. Jordan has not responded publicly and Bassett Slater’s son has not posted on TikTok anymore
The 16-year-old ended his response to the backlash with another series of apologies.
“I apologize for any harm my actions may have caused to Mr Jordan or my parents, or anyone else who may have been involved in this. I’m really, really, and sincerely sorry and I’m sorry.
The comment section on his TikTok apology video, posted to his account on December 31, has been disabled. However, as of Tuesday (January 3), it had nearly 80,000 views.
Michael B. Jordan has not publicly reacted to the teen’s ‘joke’ or his apology. It is also unknown whether Angela or Courtney asked Slater to apologize directly to MBJ over the phone or in person.
The subject of death may remain a sensitive one for both Bassett and Jordan. Both of them lost their old love Black Panther co-stars and friends Chadwick Boseman a little over two years ago. Boseman died of colon cancer on August 28, 2020, at the age of 43. Chadwick had been quietly battling cancer since 2016 and died with his wife and family at his home.
After Boseman’s death, MBJ released a message about their friendship, which had begun long before that. Black Panther. He wrote, in part:
“I pondered every moment, every conversation, every laugh, every disagreement, every hug…everything. I wish we had more time. One of the last times we talked, you said that we were together forever, and now the truth about that means more to me than ever. Since the beginning of my career, starting with All My Children when I was 16, you have paved the way for me. You have shown me how to be better, respect a purpose, and create a legacy. And whether you know it or not…I have watched, learned, and am constantly motivated by your greatness. I wish we had more time. All that you have brought to the world…the legends and heroes you have shown us to be…will last forever.”
Angela also gave a heartfelt message after the news.
“This young man’s dedication is incredible, his smile is contagious, his talent is phenomenal. Therefore, I pay my respects to a beautiful spirit, a talented artist, a brother with a soul… “you did not die but flew away…”. All that you own, Chadwick, you have given freely. Rest now, sweet prince.”