UPDATED: Tony Scott’s widow Donna has told police that the famed filmmaker/TV producer did not have brain cancer, informed insiders tell Deadline. That makes erroneous this morning’s Good Morning America report that he “had inoperable brain cancer” and quoting “a source close to him”. The ABC claim was widely picked up by media outlets globally (but not Deadline) as the reason why Scott committed suicide Sunday by jumping off a Los Angeles County bridge at 12:35 PM. Within half an hour ABC was backing off its story (see below). This is the third time in a month that ABC News has erroneously reported on a sensitive news story. During the Aurora movie theater shooting tragedy, ABC News first claimed the gunman was a Tea Party member which was not true. And then the shooter’s mother accused ABC News of mischaracterizing a quote from her. The issues all seem the same: ABC News is not properly vetting its news reporting.
Around 6:30 PM, a half-hour after Deadline corrected the ABC morning report, ABC News put out this new headline, “Tony Scott Brain Cancer Report Appears in Doubt” and this new text backing off its story:
The family of director Tony Scott, who died Sunday after jumping off a Los Angeles bridge, was not aware Scott had cancer, Los Angeles County Coroner Ed Winter told ABC News station KABC in Los Angeles. ABC News was unable to reach Scott’s family to confirm the coroner’s statement. ABC News had reported the director of films such as Top Gun, Days of Thunder, and Crimson Tide had inoperable brain cancer, citing a source close to Scott.