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.

Robert Redford. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
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:

It was nearly 50 years ago, by the way, that “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid came out, with Redford playing Sundance, of course.

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