Angela Bassett’s son, Slater, is having a rough start to the new year. The teen made a major misstep when he joined in on the popular TikTok trend that has seen users prank their parents with false claims of various celebrity deaths.
In Slater’s video, his parents — the high schooler’s dad is Tony Award-winning actor Courtney B. Vance — are seen walking out of a room when he unleashed the fake news. “Wait, mom, dad, did you hear this? Michael B. Jordan dead at 35,” said Slater as he tried to hold in laughter. A stunned Angela could only utter “Unh, unh, unh, unh” before she asked “what, what, what” as she attempted to grab her son’s phone. In the background, Courtney is heard saying, “Stop it, you’re kidding me.”
Slater ultimately admitted that Jordan had not passed away. The 16-year-old was heavily criticized for making the joke in poor taste considering that fans and the “Black Panther” franchise are still reeling from the untimely passing of its star, Chadwick Boseman. The talented actor portrayed the titular character in Marvel’s 2019 blockbuster about the comic book character. He passed away from a private, four-year cancer battle in August 2020. He was 43.
Jordan starred alongside Boseman in the flick that globally raked in over $1 billion. The former PEOPLE’S Sexiest Man Alive also reprised his role as Killmonger for a brief scene in this year’s sequel, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Some of the reactions to Slater’s prank include the following comments:
“This trend already isn’t funny at all. But doing this to Angela giving the history with them just losing Chadwick is crazyyyy.”
“Giving that Chadwick passed and he knows this he definitely should’ve known better since mom worked with both of them.”
“This ‘prank’ is trash but the fact Chadwick just died makes this even worse of a prank to use on her especially. I know her heart sank smh why are kids..?”
The public is certain the teen, who has a twin sister named Bronwyn, was reprimanded by his parents off-camera because he released an apology shortly after the clip was posted. He started with, “I would sincerely like to apologize for taking part in such a harmful trend. I apologize to Michael B. Jordan’s entire family, his extended family, and him directly, as he is an idol of mine.”
Slater remorsefully continued, “Taking part in a trend like this is completely disrespectful. I don’t wish any bad ramifications of this of my actions upon his family nor my parents as they deserve none of the backlash. I own this as a mistake and I hope this can be a teaching lesson for anyone else who uses social media as a tool and source of entertainment to truly understand that your actions can have actions that extend beyond you. I apologize for any hurt that my action may have caused Mr. Jordan, or my parents, or anyone else who could have been involved in this and I am truly and sincerely sorry and I apologize. Thank you for your time.” He also removed the controversial prank from his TikTok account.
While most fans were pleased that the teen expressed his regrets, they were even more thrilled at the thought of Angela getting her son back in line. “Oh she handled him off camera lol she may be a celebrity but she’s still a black mom,” wrote one person. “Now he know Ms.Angela don’t play w/ that mess . I don’t even know why he would even try her like that,” read another comment.