Morgan Freeman’s publicist says a rant attributed to the actor about the Newtown, Conn., shootings was a hoax.

The diatribe, which took issue with the way media draw attention to mass shooters, first appeared on Reddit on Saturday and went viral.


Morgan Freeman says a statement attributed to him about the Newtown, Conn., shootings was a hoax. (Evan Agostini/Invision/Associated Press)

"It's because of the way the media reports it. Turn on the news and see how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single 'victim' of Columbine?" the post attributed to Freeman read in part.

Last Friday a gunman burst into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults before killing himself. His mother was found dead at the family home. It was the second deadliest shooting in U.S. history behind Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., in 2007.

On Sunday, Freeman denied he had spoken about the tragedy, nor did he have any idea how the lengthy statement became attributed to him. His  publicist Stan Rosenfield said a team was trying to determine the origin of the hoax statement.  

The event has created a storm of debate online about gun control and how to prevent mass shootings.