Two weeks ago, over a million fools helped a fake Facebook post supposedly written by Richard Gere go viral. The message—from an unverified account...look for the blue check, people!—said that Gere was so humbled when he went unrecognized while posing undercover as a homeless person that he gave $100 to a bunch of actual homeless people. None of that happened, but he did play a homeless person in an upcoming film, Time Out Of Mind.
Now, Gere has followed up on the viral hoax through a baffling social media message that also conveniently markets the film. Time Out of Mind's director, Oren Moverman, shared a post on his own (verified) Facebook account that begins with the statement "Hi, Richard Gere here." Yes, Gere's clarification post is confusingly written in first person from a different person's Facebook account. Or the director of Time Out Of Mind is catfishing us, which would be hilarious.
Hi, Richard Gere here. I was completely surprised to find that last week someone posted a photo of me on a Facebook fan page as a homeless man on the streets of New York that drew 1.6 million likes and over a half-a-million shares.
While the story that accompanied the photograph was somewhat fictional (especially the $100 hand-outs), it seemed to have touched something important in people. I'd like to find out what that is and what we can do together to make something good and meaningful happen for our homeless brothers and sisters.
The image was from Time Out of Mind, a film we released this fall, that follows a homeless man in New York City.I'd like you to join me for a conversation on the issue of homelessness and how it impacts your lives. The film's director Oren Moverman and I will be taking questions live on Wednesday, 10/28 at 11AM ET on Jena Malone's public page, I hope you'll join us. We're excited to see what happens, PLEASE ASK QUESTIONS AND SHARE YOUR STORIES BELOW.
Talk to you soon, Richard
And yes, the post then very straightforwardly directs people to a different person's Facebook page tomorrow for an interactive question session. Maybe someone should ask how old the person who came up with this social media strategy is.