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The son of heralded actress Angela Bassett, Slater Vance, landed in hot water, issuing an apology after pulling a video prank involving faking the death of Michael B. Jordan on TikTok.
On New Year’s Eve, Slater Vance filmed a video that he shared on the social media platform apologizing for the stunt where he claimed that her fellow Black Panther actor Jordan had died to the actress and his father, actor Courtney B. Vance. “I apologize to Michael B. Jordan’s entire family, his extended family, and him directly as he is an idol of mine,” he said in a video posted to his Instagram account which was deleted shortly after. “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.”
In the original 27-second video which was posted earlier in the day, he’s observed asking his mother and his father if they had heard that Michael B. Jordan had died. Bassett is seen placing her hand over her heart in disbelief and walking overcome with emotion toward her son to ascertain where he had read the news. The video ends abruptly, but not before Courtney can be heard off-camera telling his son, “Stop it. You’re playing.”
“I own this mistake,” the 16-year-old continued in his apology, appearing remorseful and holding back tears. “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 video prank was part of a growing trend on TikTok featuring teens telling their parents a favorite celebrity of theirs had died and recording their reaction. The hashtag “celebritydeathprank” had over 174 million views on the app as of Sunday (Jan. 1). Many have observed that Slater Vance’s prank went entirely too far given that Jordan and Bassett were cast mates in both of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther films, but also given the abrupt death of lead actor Chadwick Boseman in August 2020 from colon cancer, which shocked the cast and crew.