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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Social media mourns the death of Paul Walker — actor, marine biologist and humanitarian

Paul Walker, star of the well-known “Fast & Furious” franchise, was in a fatal car accident Saturday. Walker, not only an A-list actor, was respected for his humanitarian work as well, which ranged from volunteering for Chilean and Haitian earthquake victims to being involved in a National Geographic documentary relating to sharks. He had a true passion for acting, marine biology and giving to those in need.

The world is in mourning to see a good man gone. Some on the Internet are posting respectful tweets, like broadcast journalism freshman Carlos Gallegos, who posted, “Paul Walker, may you rest in peace.” There’s also Vin Diesel, who starred opposite Walker in the “Fast & Furious” franchise. He took to Instagram to voice his condolences, posting the following caption of a picture of Walker and him: “Brother, I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new angel. Rest in peace.”

While many are using the Internet as a tool to pay respect to Walker, others are using social media as a way to get a good laugh. Some are sending out tweets and statuses like, “RIP to the driver that died with Paul Walker that no one seems to care about because he wasn’t famous” or “At least Walker died doing what his ‘Fast and Furious’ character loved.” One posted that Walker’s death was “an ironic way for him to die.”

Just as when Cory Monteith passed away last summer and brows started to raise for the future of “Glee,” the public has almost immediately started asking what will happen to the “Fast & Furious” franchise now that Walker is no longer alive. While many loved Walker’s role in “Fast & Furious,” asking what will happen to a fictional character immediately following the death of a human being is disheartening.

Universal Pictures, the studio behind “Fast & Furious,” did not address the future of the films. Instead, they released the following statement: “All of us at Universal are heartbroken. Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years. This loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the ‘Fast and Furious’ films and to countless fans. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul’s family.”

It is apparent after searching “Paul Walker” on Twitter — a worldwide trending topic shortly after his death — that he was loved by many adoring fans, friends and family. He should be remembered by thoughts, prayers and words of inspiration, not by tweets from people who are trying to get a good laugh out of a terrible situation.

Paul Walker, however, will be remembered for his work in the acting world and his involvement in various charities — not by these tweets deemed “funny.” In fact, Walker’s management posted on his Facebook and Twitter, letting the world know that he passed away “while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.” This specific charity event was to raise money for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

A courageous man who inspired those around him to do better, Walker has shown that in an industry sometimes called superficial or greedy, all the time is the right time to think about others. In one of his most well-known quotes, Walker said, “You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae.”

Opinion columnist Blake Mudd is a journalism freshman and may be reached at [email protected]


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