People who saw “Robert Redford” trending on social media Thursday had to close their eyes and pray. Was he dead? Not by a long shot.
The 79-year-old acting/directing legend was just getting attention for not taking a stand on the “white Oscars” controversy while opening his Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
“I’m not focused on that part,” Redford was quoted as saying from Park City. “To me, it’s about the work, and whatever reward comes from that, that’s great. But I don’t think about it.”
On a day when Will Smith became the latest black star to announce a boycott of the Academy Awards ceremony, Redford said: “Diversity comes out of the word independence. Basically, that’s the principal we operate from. … Diversity comes out of that. It’s an automatic thing. If you’re independent-minded, you’re going to do things differently than the common form.”
At least one commenter, frozen in dread until seeing the news, had an idea for Twitter:
Twitter should put up a ‘Not Dead’ announcement whenever someone of a certain age is trending. eg Robert Redford
— The Studio Exec (@studioexec1) January 21, 2016
*sees Robert Redford is trending* *checks to make sure he isn’t dead* *gives sigh of relief that he isn’t* *goes back to work*
— Colin (@YesItsColin) January 21, 2016
every one of us who clicked on the robert redford trend: pic.twitter.com/48JzBDrziO
— Deja M. Burt (@Hoosyourdaddy99) January 21, 2016
Am I the only one that saw Robert Redford trending and held their breath for a minute?
— Page & Screen (@PageAndScreen) January 21, 2016
It was nearly 50 years ago, by the way, that “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid“ came out, with Redford playing Sundance, of course.
— Mashable (@mashable) January 22, 2016
— The Verge (@verge) January 21, 2016