Media Celebrities Who Were Mistaken For Each Other By The Media  

Rebecca Shortall
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Celebrity doppelgängers aren't unheard of. Stories of stars who were mistaken for each other often appear in magazines or on blogs, and everyone has a friend who is convinced they look just like Jennifer Lawrence/Audrey Hepburn/Zoe Saldana. And then there are celebrities who look exactly like people from history - who knows how that happens.

The media is not above confusing famous folks for one another. But when you have one job - correctly identifying a celebrity - it seems shocking to mess it up so badly. Nevertheless, embarrassing cases of celebrity mix ups keep happening. And surprise, surprise - the media seems to have an unwelcome habit of misidentifying stars of color. Whether those gaffes are caused by a website's social media team, a flustered red carpet host, or pure ignorance, no media outlet seems immune to celebrity cases of mistaken identity.


Octavia Spencer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Celebrities Who Were Mistaken For Each Other By The Media
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons/Wikimedia Commons

Octavia Spencer was mistaken for her The Help co-star Viola Davis at the 2013 Academy Awards. The red carpet arrivals were being broadcast on E!, and a caption incorrectly named Spencer as Davis. Maybe the editors were distracted by the Mani Cam.

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Riz Ahmed is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Celebrities Who Were Mistaken For Each Other By The Media
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons/Wikimedia Commons

At the 2017 Baftas, both Riz Ahmed and Dev Patel wore Burberry. Apparently that was enough to confuse whoever runs the brand's Twitter account. They posted a tweet reading, "Celebrating the ‘EEBAFTAs in London this evening, Best Actor in A Supporting Role winner #DevPatel wears a @Burberry custom-made navy tuxedo" - with a picture of Ahmed.

Burberry quickly fixed the mistake and apologized, but as one Twitter user said, "Burberry just confused @RizMC for Dev Patel because all brown people look the same?"

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America Ferrera is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Celebrities Who Were Mistaken For Each Other By The Media
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons/Wikimedia Commons

America Ferrera announced the 2015 Golden Globes nominations, but the event's official Twitter handle mistakenly identified her as Gina Rodriguez. They quickly corrected the error, and issued an apology for the "unfortunate error."

Ferrera ended up joking about the incident onstage at the awards ceremony.

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Samuel L. Jackson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Celebrities Who Were Mistaken For Each Other By The Media
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons/Wikimedia Commons

In 2014, Samuel L. Jackson appeared on KTLA to promote his new film RoboCop. Reporter Sam Rubin asked him about his recent Super Bowl ad appearance - but the ad in question actually featured Laurence Fishburne.

"We may be all black and famous, but we all don't look alike," Jackson told him.

Rubin apologized for his mistake, and Fishburne brushed off the mix-up.

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