Deadline Hollywood retracted a story after it published a hoax claiming the ABC show Scandal had re-cast the role of Harrison Wright.
Columbus Short has played the character for the past three seasons, but confirmed last month he was leaving the show.
The original May 7 story claimed actor Eric West would be playing Wright in the next season and included a quote attributed to ABC.
Deadline has replaced its story with a statement admitting they were hoaxed. It reads:
“Sorry, Scandal fans. In the rush of upfront news, a release purported to be from ABC about an actor named Eric West, whose name had been circulated for weeks, replacing troubled Scandal co-star Columbus Short got to me. It turns out it was an elaborate hoax, which is very unfortunate. It is unclear yet whether Short would be replaced.”
The story was not labeled a correction or a retraction though. It even suggested the recasting was possible by saying “it is unclear yet whether Short would be replaced.” However, Scandal showrunner Shonda Rhimes called out the story as bogus and said the role wouldn’t be recast.
She also recommended better fact checking.
I’ve never heard of Eric West. Harrison is not being recast EVER. How about reporters CHECK THEIR SOURCES before running with a story?
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) May 7, 2014
She also re-tweeted a TV Guide reporter calling the story bogus.
And West tweeted apparently in response to the news saying:
this is news to me..
— Eric West (@EricXWest) May 7, 2014
BuzzFeed posted a correction on its story noting that it had reported wrongly that West was re-cast based on Deadline.
BuzzFeed’s correction reads: “This post originally reported Deadline’s story, which has since been retracted.”
iMediaEthics has written to Deadline for comment.
ABC declined to comment.
Hat Tip: TMZ