mermaids, named appropriately, “Mermaids.” It attracted 3.6 million viewers. (Clipart if from www.thegraphicfairy.com). Now, the media is implying that the video tricked viewers into believing that mermaids existed and that the entire video was just a hoax. I don’t buy it. (I also did not view it.)
We writers would call this a work of fiction and the viewers are readers or fans. I could easily a lot of people watching a well-made video about mythical creatures. Look at all the Harry Potter fans. No one thought Harry Potter was a documentary or a hoax that tricked viewers.
Most works of fiction usually have a disclaimer at the front that identifies the work as a piece of fiction and that any resemblance between characters and real people is purely coincidental. We do that so when one of our family members recognizes themselves in a character, we authors can look
dumbfounded and say with almost a straight face, “You thought that was you?” Apparently, the disclaimer in “Mermaids” was not up front. I wish just a million people would read one of my books.