Considering we live in a time where we deal with real alleged rapists on YouTube, there isn’t room for creating fake rapists out of thin air. Hell, even if there were room, it’s just not beneficial to anyone.
Josh Blaine, one of the men in the video, who works as an L.A. tour guide claims he was approached by the filmmakers of the “Drunk Girl In Public” “social experiment” video and asked to do a little acting.
“A couple people asked me if I’d be part of their video, if I wouldn’t mind ‘acting out a little skit,'” Blaine told The Huffington Post. “They told me I needed to pretend to pick up this drunk girl and try to take her home, and that it would be really funny.”
Blaine definitely isn’t laughing now: “I’m worried about getting shanked,” he told HuffPo. “Hollywood’s a rough place.” Likely, neither are the other participants in the video — one of whom allegedly told The Smoking Gun that they’d be “taken care of” for their participation in acting like a super creep. At the time, it was allegedly pitched as a little “student film” but now with 9 million views, these guys, if their claims end up true, are definitely in a precarious position.
With definite potential for affecting their livelihood in addition to their personal image and safety, I hate lawsuits and our overly litigious society, but if I were these guys, I’d lawyer up. See the problem is that if the filmmaker Stephen Zhang, 20, actually posted “We went out to Hollywood Blvd to see how guys would treat a young woman out on the streets.” on the video’s Facebook page (page seems to have since been made unavailable), he appears to be making a claim to the footage’s authenticity and not informing people that it is a staged production. Of course, to be fair to Zhang, just because he does not explicitly state that the video is a fake (if indeed Blaine and co. are telling the truth) does not automatically mean he intended for it to be taken as fact. A lot of media outlets treated it as such though in their reporting.
But there are four or five guys (depending on whether you think that one dude was trying to get in her pants) who are being pretty harshly judged by a lot of people. Fortunately, their boy Jeff was calling “fake” from day one. Even if Zhang or one of his alleged co-conspirators does cop to this being fake though, there are a lot of people who aren’t going to get that message. Would you feel safe taking a “Hollywood tour” from someone who you saw in an online video looking like he tried to coerce a “drunk girl” into going home with him against her will? If this video is indeed as fake as I predicted, the word of the day ought to be “defamation.” At the very least, if this video officially gets admitted to be a fake, I would hope that YouTube would be sensible enough to take whatever monies were generated from this video and donate them all to a women’s abuse shelter. That would be the best thing that could come out of this whole mess.