When “Uncle Phil,” also known as actor James Avery, died last week, a hoax tribute misattributed to star Will Smith began to circulate on the social web.
Smith arguably began the bigger part of his career as the titular character of The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, a “fish out of water” sitcom from the 80s about a teen who was jetted from a possible life of crime in his home of West Philadelphia to live with his wealthy aunt, uncle, and cousins in Los Angeles. Hilarity ensued.
So when Uncle Phil died, many Americans were saddened by the loss of part of their childhood pop culture landscape. And the hoax tweet promised something that stoked the fires of nostalgia — a reunion episode of Fresh Prince, should enough retweets be achieved.
It’s kind of silly to imagine an ostensibly grieving Smith would engage in RT-hostage taking at such a sad time, and the actual Will Smith did post a brief and touching tribute to Avery over on Facebook.
[Caption: “Some of my greatest lessons in Acting, Living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery. Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace.”]
“This photo was the last time we were together.”
You can view and comment on Will Smith’s “Uncle Phil” post over on Facebook.
[Image: Will Smith, Facebook]