Andy Cohen joined the list of people not amused by the so-called trend of celebrity death jokes on TikTok that went viral over the holidays.
Thousands of users have taken part in the trend, which involves capturing the devastated reactions of their parents upon hearing the fake news of their favorite celebrity’s death. The hashtag #celebritydeathprank has amassed nearly 200 million views on TikTok.
It’s unclear who started the celebrity death hoax. according to the Know Your Meme database. But the first videos date from December 24.
Since then, TikTok users have uploaded fake news videos about the deaths of the likes of former President Donald Trump, Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner, actor Idris Elba, musician Jon Bon Jovi and others.
Online pranks continue to thrive online, though the genre has evolved in recent years to be less extreme. The trend of celebrity death jokes has drawn mixed responses, with some viewers reacting positively and others arguing that the videos do more harm than good.
«I’ve seen these clips and I’ve seen the terror on these people’s faces when they’re told someone they like died and then they’re like, ‘Oh, just kidding,'» one user said. he said in a video criticizing the trend. «Don’t do that to people.»
Cohen, host of «Watch What Happens Live,» said during Tuesday’s episode they have sent him many videos in the last two weeks with people reacting to his faked death. However, she said, he has «no desire to experience people’s reactions to my death.»
«I’m scared enough to die in reality without having to watch weird simulations over and over again,» he said.
He also cursed while warning viewers to stop sharing the videos, saying shortly after that it was the first time he had made that kind of mistake on the show.
While moved by all the TikTok moms’ tears, Cohen said the reactions also made him «terribly depressed.»
A Cohen spokesman declined to comment further Wednesday.
The trend first drew criticism after 16-year-old Slater Vance pranked his famous parents, Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance, on New Year’s Eve. He told them that actor Michael B. Jordan had died. Representatives for the actors did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
Social media users expressed concern that such a prank could have led her mother to believe she had lost another former co-star. The «Black Panther» cast, which included Jordan, lost Chadwick Boseman to colon cancer in 2020.
Slater Vance downloaded the video and posted a public apology for having participated in «such a harmful trend» and for the potential harm it caused Jordan and his own family.
«I recognize that this was a mistake,» he said. said in his apology video on TikTok. «And I hope this can be a teaching lesson for anyone else 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 musician Finneas O’Connell was one of the first to call the trenddescribing it as «bad».
She urged her followers to stop participating in the trend, saying none of the videos featuring her made him laugh.
“Your parents are showing vulnerability for a brief second,” O’Connell said in a video posted to TikTok over Christmas. «And you’re laughing at them.»