The comments which went viral this weekend on sites such as Facebook and Twitter condemned the "sensationalist media" for coverage of mass killings, blaming news outlets for making "disturbed people" want to kill themselves in a "memorable way."
Freeman's publicist Stan Rosenfield says the remarks are not from the actor and he doesn't know where they originated, he told TheWrap.The statement specifically calls out CNN and Fox News for reporting details of the shooting:
You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why. It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine?
Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.
CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours.
Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.
You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.
As of Monday, a quick Twitter search shows people are still attributing the comments to Freeman.
A Reddit thread points out the statement originated in Facebook post from "Mark in Vancouver," The Inquisitr reported. A comment under the post from Mark mentions Freeman: