If you Google “Patrick Stewart with hair,” as we all do every day or so, one of the first results will be a black and white photo of a man in a suit who kind of, sort of looks like a young Stewart. This man, it turns out, is not Patrick Stewart, but Andy Whitfield, an actor who has never been on Star Trek and, as his fans are using the latest Stewart confusion to remind the internet, deserves better than to be relegated to meme side note.
The latest instance of the “Patrick Stewart with hair” phenomenon popped up again on Twitter a few days ago. Before long, people like Jared Pechacek began countering the claim that the photo in question was of anyone but Whitfield.
Some saw this as an opportunity to highlight how Google results can be skewed by misinformation, which creates more misinformation over time.
Whitfield’s fans, on the other hand, used the opportunity to tell people about the actor, who died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011 at only 39 years-old and was best known for playing the lead in Spartacus: Blood And Sand.
Aside from urging people to check out his work on the show and learn more about the actor’s life through the documentary Be Here Now, Twitter was also quick to supply images of the actual “Patrick Stewart with hair” photos it needs.
So there you have it. Despite the additional confusion presented by an image of “Patrick Stewart with hair” that also features Roman armor, Spartacus’ Andy Whitfield is an entirely separate person. In a rare case of the internet working as intended, the confusion has been cleared up, people have been directed to accurate photos of a hirsute Stewart, and a late actor’s legacy has been remembered for more than his passing likeness to another celebrity.
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