On days like Monday, the one-story days, the days where everyone collectively gasps and starts Twittering upon finding out that a god is mortal after all, the newspeople still have to put out the paper. So David Bowie was dead, and the BBC had to produce the compulsory roundup of reactions to his passing from other famous persons. And under those conditions, actor Simon Pegg got credit for a very astute Bowie tweet that he didn’t write.
In fairness to the BBC, the provenance of the tweet was a bit confusing. Simon Pegg used to have an official Twitter account, but in December 2014, he stopped tweeting and delegated it to his PR team instead. So @simonpegg is now Pegg News. But there’s still a Simon Pegg on Twitter — @simon_pegg — who’s constantly getting mistaken for the Shaun of the Dead star.
That guy posted the Bowie tweet that someone at the BBC misattributed to the more famous Pegg, and then spent Monday morning trying to alert the press that (a) He is not THAT Simon Pegg, and (b) He didn’t even write the tweet in question.
This particular Bowie tribute was first tweeted by Dean Podesta — @jesuisdean — but, as any good tweet is wont to do, got picked up by copycats and started spreading without attribution, making it harder to track down the original. Further complicating matters, Podesta’s “4 billion years” sentiment wasn’t an original one. Back in November, Justin Bieber reacted to tweets from his most ardent fans, and one of those tweets was — surprise! — “ If I’m ever sad, I just remember the world is 4 billion years old and somehow I managed to exist at the same time as you.”
So, not only was the source of the tweet not Simon Pegg, but its intended recipient wasn’t Bowie. (It might not even have been Bieber. The idea behind it is a nice one, which means it’s probably already on a greeting card or a generic home-décor poster somewhere. Hard to say, really.)
But to his credit, Other Simon Pegg did at least part of the legwork and got the correction — from the BBC, at least. A small victory on a sad day.
Other outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter, still credit Pegg with the sentiment.