UPDATE: Creative Agency Takes Full Blame For Mark McGrath Death Hoax

Photo: Stewart Cook/REX USA.
Updated on 02/26 at 6:30 p.m.:  Prismatics has issued a statement taking full blame for the media alert. "Please be advised that Mark McGrath and his team have had no involvement in or knowledge of the media alerts sent earlier this morning," it said in an e-mail. "Prismatics take full responsibility for any confusion." The jury's still out as to who conceived and approved the stunt, though.

Original Post Published on 02/26 at 3:00 p.m.: This morning, a Los Angeles-based communications agency called Prismatics issued a press release announcing that musician/TV host Mark McGrath was dead.

"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." It then asked fans to "post a Sugar Ray Selfie, holding a packet of sugar over their heart" and add the #RIPMARKMCGRATH to it. 

Twitter and the rest of the Internet was puzzled. Was the Sugar Ray frontman dead? Why did the press release spell "in lieu" as "in liu"? And, if this isn't real, why would some publicist approve a hoax like this? In the words of Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers, "Really!?!"

McGrath is not dead. He tweeted his confusion around noon Thursday. "I knew nothing about it and found out the same time you did," he said before apologizing for the confusion. 

It turns out McGrath's character on the Adult Swim show will be gunned down in the next episode. A second press release was sent out as an update explaining the plot and assuring readers the singer is "alive and well in real life."

Adult Swim released a statement to the Huffington Post explaining it had no affiliation with the hoax and was not approved marketing. We contacted both McGrath's record label and Prismatics and weren't able to reach anyone for comment. Talk about a PR fail. Sorry, Prismatics, but April 1 is a month away and even so, a stunt like this isn't worth a laugh. (The Hollywood Reporter)

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