A headline on the Empire News site went viral today, starting a rumor that Betty White was dead – all because fans didn’t know the difference between “dye” and “die.” MediaMass reported that a “RIP Betty White” Facebook page has already gained more than a million likes.
The headline that started the rumor was, “Actress Betty White, 92, Dyes Peacefully In Her Los Angles Home.” It introduced a satirical article about White not being a natural blonde and dying her own hair in her home. The article even contained a fake quote from her manager saying, “Betty has often told me she feels it is relaxing and soothing to dye her own hair, peacefully in her home, where she can laugh and enjoy time with her animals. She’s said on more than one occasion that as a blonde, she has had ‘more fun’ in her roles, and in life.”
Fortunately for her fans, Ms. White is alive and well and still dying her hair blonde. Representatives for White released the following statement, “She joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by this hoax. She’s still alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet.”
According to Business2Community, the hoax started on Wednesday when a link to the article was posted on Empire’s Facebook and got over 2100 shares, as fans who misread the headline thought that Betty had actually died. One fan, who apparently didn’t read the article, actually commented angrily on the Facebook post that it was a fake and Empire News couldn’t spell – to which Empire replied, “We spell perfectly fine, thank you.”
Empire News posts this disclaimer, saying that their articles are satirical and should not be taken seriously, but Twitter fans are still sharing what they think is the sad news, some of them even citing the article.
— Sue (@Sky_Bluez) September 3, 2014
— Priyadarshanie P (@Pri_Dar_209) September 3, 2014
Others caught the play on words or actually read the article and tried to stem the tide of the growing rumor.
— The Anzone (@TheAnzone) September 3, 2014
#BettyWhite is not dead y’all. Don’t scare me like that :(
— Nate (@NateChilledPlum) September 3, 2014
People please learn the difference between dyes and dies #BettyWhite
— Michael Graves (@gravesmike) September 3, 2014
This is the second time this year that Betty White has been the subject of a death hoax. Rumors circulated a few months ago that White was found dead in a bathtub, as reported in this Inquisitr article in June.
Image courtesy of Fanpop