'Drunk Girl' Video Allegedly Not What it Seems
OutlineViral video appears to depict several predatory men accosting a young woman that they believe to be drunk and therefore more vulnerable to their advances.
Brief AnalysisStephen Zhang, CEO of viral marketing company Hygo Inc, created the video supposedly as a social experiment. However, it now seems likely that the entire video was staged and that the men were in fact approached and asked to play the predatory roles depicted in the footage.
Viral Video Appears to Show Men Taking Advantage of Drunk Girl
The woman pretends to be drunk and is approached by a succession of men apparently intent on taking advantage of the girl's vulnerable condition. The men offer to drive her home or invite her to come to their homes.
Given that the intention of these men is obviously far less than honourable, the males in the piece are presented in a very negative light.
Video is Likely a Stunt - Men Claim That They Were Asked To Play Parts
The video makes it clear that the girl - 24-year-old actress Jennifer Box - was not actually drunk. The video is labelled as a 'social experiment'. However, the role of the men portrayed - or perhaps 'betrayed' - in the footage is not so clear. The implication in the video is that, while the girl was just playing a part, the behaviour of the men was not scripted.
However, according to The Smoking Gun and various news reports, the men were actually asked to participate in what they believed to be a short humour skit or student video and were given lines and told how to behave towards the girl.
The video was created by Stephen Zhang, who is the CEO of Hygo Inc, a company that specializes in viral marketing campaigns. The piece pays homage to an earlier viral video that depicts a woman experiencing harassment as she walked through the streets of New York City.
Zhang has been accused of deliberately misleading the men involved.
One of the men in the video Mike Mokii Koshak notes in a Facebook post:
Just to let people know, the video that has me in it that's going around the web was all staged and all of the people in it were acting. Please try to refrain from posting or tagging me in this video, as it was staged does not portray myself or any of the other people in it correctly.And, Josh Blaine, another of the men featured in the video told Huffington Post that he was approached and asked to participate in a 'little skit'. He was instructed to pretend to pick up the drunken girl and try to take her home.
Unfortunately, a young woman in the situation depicted might indeed be vulnerable. Certainly, some men would not hesitate to take advantage. Nevertheless, creating such a film without making it clear that the men were just acting a part is unfair on those involved.
Last updated: November 16, 2014
First published: November 16, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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