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On Saturday, the person behind the Twitter account @RealFerrellWill made a generous offer. “R.I.P. Trayvon Martin,” they wrote. “For every R-T this tweet gets, $1 will be donated to the
#TrayvonMartin Foundation, which helps counteract racism.”
It was a generous offer, and was retweeted by hundreds of followers — some celebrities — and noted in the coverage of the case by various news outlets, including the Houston Chronicle and CNN. The only problems? There is no such thing as the Trayvon Martin Foundation, and Will Ferrell was not sending the tweets.
“That is definitely NOT Will Ferrell who does NOT have a Twitter account,” Ferrell’s publicist told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday. “We’ve informed Twitter that this is a hoax.”
The account, which has over 43,000 followers, fooled many, including comedian Aziz Ansari, who retweeted the message before deleting it and then writing, “just realized it was fake, just read it and it seemed legit. F—king fake Twitter people. Ugh.”
The account, which features an avatar of Ferrell in his costume from the movie Elf, has done far more than just fake donations.
“I truly believe that Zimmermon should have the death penalty.. #TrayvonMartin was a innocent kid who just wanted to eat some skittles,” the account tweeted on Sunday. There have also been tweets about smoking marijuana, racially-charged jokes and other requests for retweets, such as “Retweet if your horny ;).”
The account’s biography is a confusing one, calling itself, “The Real, Verified, Genuine Parody Account of the Soon to Be Office Sensation, Will Ferrell.”
In fact, this isn’t the only fake Will Ferrell account, nor is it the biggest; the account @LegitWillFerrell, which hasn’t tweeted since 2009, has 121,000 followers.
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