On June 23, 2023, a rumor was shared on Twitter that falsely claimed actor Jeremy Renner was dead after experiencing a "freak escalator accident."
This death hoax spread so far and wide that the hashtag "#RIPJeremyRenner" started trending on the social media platform.
The false rumor about Renner's demise appeared to begin with an image of a purported headline from The Guardian. However, there was no evidence that this story was ever published by the news outlet.
The image of the fake article read, "Jeremy Renner, actor, passes away at age 52 from freak escalator accident. Avengers star was left in a critical condition and died peacefully in San Jose hospital."
Notice the apparent mistake made by the hoax's creator who typed the time as "4:12 AEDT." Real articles from The Guardian display "EDT," not "AEDT."
Sian Cain, a deputy culture editor for The Guardian, was named as the supposed author of the fake article on the left side of the image. However, there was no indication that Cain had anything to do with the death hoax.
According to what we could find, the person who created the fake image likely started with a screenshot of a real article written by Cain for The Guardian, published on March 29, 2023. That authentic story featured the same picture of Renner that appeared in the hoax tweet and reported on the actor's widely-publicized snow plow accident on New Year's Day.
As for Renner's whereabouts on the day this hoax spread, his Instagram account showed two new videos that had been posted after the timestamp of the hoax tweet. This indicated that he was alive and that, once again, there was no truth to the rumor that he had died in a "freak escalator accident."