Considering the slew of people Twitter owner Elon Musk has banned from his newly acquired social network, it didn’t seem surprising when ‘Weird’ Al Yankovic expressed outrage that Harry Potter star and Weird Al impersonator Daniel Radcliffe was among those kicked off on Monday. Yet—though it may be hard to believe—it wasn’t Musk’s fault this time, because Radcliffe isn’t on any social media channels.
On Monday afternoon, Yankovic tweeted that Radcliffe, who recently played the comedic artist in the Weird: The Al Yankovic Story biopic, had been suspended from Twitter. Yankovic implied that Radcliffe had been using his Twitter account to parody him, which would have made sense since the biopic Radcliffe starred in about Yankovic was released this month.
“Oh no, they suspended @danielradcliffe’s Twitter account! Wasn’t it obvious he was doing a PARODY???” Yankovic wrote.
Under Musk’s recent strict edict banning impersonation of others—mainly because Kathy Griffin, Valerie Bertinelli, and more were making fun of the Tesla CEO—it would make sense that Radcliffe would have been punished for parodying Yankovic, even if it was to promote the movie. Not the case, though. Some news outlets, including the Toronto Star and Katie Couric Media, reported on Yankovic’s claim as true. However, Radcliffe’s publicist Scott Boute told Gizmodo in an email that the actor does not use Twitter or any other social media.
All in all, Yankovic’s assertation that Radcliffe was kicked off Twitter would seem to be correct, but the deception becomes clear once you start digging in the weeds. The account referenced by Yankovic, @danielradcliffe, has been inactive or suspended since at least 2011, according to data from the Internet Archive.
Another clue comes from Radcliffe himself. The actor has stated publicly many times that he doesn’t use social media. In 2019, he told Wired that he would probably be the kind of person who gets into fights on social media, and therefore stayed away from the platforms.
“I just know that if I were on Twitter I would be the kind of person that gets into fights,” Radcliffe said in a Wired Autocomplete Interview. “If you are talking to someone on social media who is claiming to be me, feel free to go and give them shit.”
“I would love to say there’s some sort of intellectual, well-thought-out reason for this, because I considered getting a Twitter, and I 100% know that if I did, you all would be waking up to stories of like, ‘Dan Radcliffe gets into fight with random person on Twitter,’” he said.
The only truth to be had here, it seems, is probably that Yankovic was making a joke based on all of the drama over the Twitter suspensions yesterday. We have to hand it to him, LOL.
Gizmodo reached out to Twitter for comment on fake Radcliffe account that is currently suspended but did not receive a response, which is understandable since Musk gutted the company’s communications department during layoffs. As noted by The Independent, this is likely a story about an impersonator who took the handle @DanielRadcliffe years ago and got suspended or lost interest.