Mark McGrath is the latest victim of a celebrity death hoax, but this one was more carefully orchestrated than usual. A creative consulting agency plotted the whole thing to promote the host and Sugar Ray singer's appearance on the Adult Swim show Hot Package. The fake press release sent out by Prismatics this morning read:
"Musician Mark McGrath has died at the age of 46. McGrath was on set filming the second season of entertainment show Hot Package, when he was confronted by a masked gunman and shot several times. The former Sugar Ray frontman died in the arms of his co-host Derrick Beckles on the Hollywood set of the show.
In honor of Mr. McGrath's legacy, his team is asking in liu [sic] of flowers, fans post a Sugar Ray Selfie, holding a packet of sugar over their heart. #RIPMARKMCGRATH"
The hashtag didn't exactly blow up on Twitter like #TeamLlama, but a few people fell for the hoax.
Sad to hear of the passing of Mark McGrath. Was a pioneer in the music industry in the late 90's. We will miss you, Mark. #RIPMarkMcgrath— David Damboise (@NotDamboise) February 26, 2015
#ripmarkmcgrath going to spend the day sitting around and wondering why he was always there for us— Anthony C-M (@anthonymiccio) February 26, 2015
Apparently McGrath himself didn't know about the hoax and was as surprised as anyone. He took to Twitter to clear his name as soon as he found out. Adult Swim also insisted it had nothing to do with the release.
Final word on the death hoax thing, I knew nothing about it and found out the same time you did...sorry about any confusion— mark mcgrath (@mark_mcgrath) February 26, 2015
To be clear, I'm only apologizing to anyone affected by this death hoax, as I am in no way involved with this really lame press release— mark mcgrath (@mark_mcgrath) February 26, 2015
I can only hope the people responsible will clear my name, but I won't hold my breath...what was a fun cameo on a show, has become a bummer— mark mcgrath (@mark_mcgrath) February 26, 2015
Later on Prismatics sent out a new release:
Tomorrow night on the Season 2 Premiere of Hot Package, Mark McGrath is killed by a masked gunman and dies in the arms of his co-host Derrick Beckles.
It's important to note that Mark McGrath is alive and well in real life.
The Season 2 premiere of Hot Package airs tomorrow at 12:30 AM on Adult Swim.
We can't imagine Adult Swim is too upset by the unauthorized move. It's an unsavory stunt, sure, but clearly it's working.