Jaden Smith has been killed off by the internet over and over again this summer. The newly-adult son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith first began to be targeted by suicide rumors around the time of his 18th birthday in July, and as the summer went on, so did the rumors. The reason for Jaden Smith’s reported suicide varied from being bullied or shamed for his gender-bending style, to being heartbroken because his girlfriend, Sarah Snyder, got caught in a photographer’s bed and blasted on Twitter.
Jaden Smith was even tagged in the quickly deleted photo of Sarah looking questionably comfy with a non-Jaden dude.
The rumors that Jaden Smith had died and had deliberately taken his own life were so pervasive that his family, including his famous sister, Willow, reportedly got condolences. A video of Jaden declaring his intention to end his own life began to circulate; in it the teen allegedly said goodbye to his dad before hanging himself.
The Jaden Smith death hoax rumors got so bad so fast largely because of how the stories of his death were being spread. Someone employed an ingenious set of links that began to spread on social media, primarily Facebook. When users of the social media platform clicked on the links, the story of Jaden Smith’s suicide shared on their Facebook news feed for all of their friends and family to see and click on, and the process would repeat.
While it might have seem liked a bit of harmless “fun,” the Jaden Smith death hoax became a trigger for many of Jaden Smith’s fans, and even his critics, when they repeatedly stumbled on (or were assailed by) the fake news that Jaden had taken his own life.
The rumors that Jaden Smith had died brought so much attention to Jaden Smith and his name, brand and projects this summer that many wondered if (just maybe) Jaden (or his people) were behind the rumor’s veracity. So far, nobody really knows for sure where the suicide rumors started, but now the death hoax has reportedly spread from Jaden’s life to his career.
Last week, stories began to circulate on the internet that indicated that the teen’s wildly popular Netflix series The Get Down was getting the axe. The reason? According to The Morning Ledger, Jaden Smith’s show was getting cancelled because of his untimely and unexpected death. The only problem? Despite what the internet has been telling people all summer, Jaden Smith is not dead.
Ironically, The Get Down is also not being cancelled. Like the “news” of Jaden Smith’s death, the news that his Netflix musical drama is “no more” is completely false. However, just because the rumors of the cancellation are not true doesn’t mean that people don’t believe them. A lot of people have bought into the lie. So many people that the show’s creator, the one-and-only Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge), is getting frustrated at the baseless rumors surrounding his high-budget show and its young star.
As New York Daily News reports, Baz Luhrmann recently spoke out about the baseless rumors that Jaden Smith is dead and his promising show was shut down after just one season. According to the director, his expensive Netflix show The Get Down(which had a rumored production cost of $120 million and has been labeled “the most expensive series ever”) is not only not being cancelled, Season 2 is being shot right now.
“It’s funny, those rumors, because I’m shooting (season) two today, we’re shooting it right now.”
Even without considering Jaden Smith’s life or death, The Get Down’s future appeared shaky, at least according to social media and the tabloids. Many called it out for having a “disappointing” number of viewers, especially considering its sky-high production costs. According to Luhrmann, that talk was also nonsense.
“The internet’s a funny thing because I can tell you it’s absolute rubbish. The show’s going extraordinarily well, it’s got a giant fan base and a grand following. There’s something going on in that they really don’t know the numbers for Netflix, and they try and make them up.”
Baz Luhrmann further said that he found the (false) talk of Jaden Smith’s death “unsettling.”
“The stuff about Jaden passing away, it’s a bit upsetting because he’s shooting this week.”
So there you have it. Jaden Smith? Not dead. The future of The Get Down? Just as bright as the future of Jaden Smith, at least according to the show’s creator.
[Featured Image by KGC-130/STAR MAX/IPx/AP Photo]