Most of the time when a video strikes us as, let’s say, “staged,” we go on a big rant about it and scream about how it can be destructive even if it’s trying to promote a good cause or message. But we like and respect FouseyTube, who as a massive creator and philanthropist, does a lot of good for people anyhow. So he gets the benefit of the doubt from us on his latest video which purports to show how rotten and evil “common passersby” can be to a nice homeless person who — wait for the twist — wants to give THEM money. In fact, if the video is to be taken as an honest documentary accounting, people are straight up cruel. But that’s a big “IF.”
To be fair, FouseyTube doesn’t say anywhere that this is a real video. He does say: “This video wasn’t one of those, ‘oh let’s see if people offer us money.’ It was, ‘let’s see how people feel about themselves when someone who is classified as ‘lesser’ than them on societies class ladder offers them money.’ The results were not expected and not wanted. It doesn’t matter how much you have in life if what you have in life takes away from you being humble.”
So it certainly SEEMS that FouseyTube wants us to feel this video is genuine. And he hasn’t told his commenters who have gone away feeling horrified about the state of humankind that the video is staged. And it’s gotten over 2 million views, so it’s certainly influential.
But we see a lot of “social experiments” living in Los Angeles (real and staged) and we see a lot of bad actors as well. Here are five red flags from the video that make us think FouseyTube is trying to teach us a bigger lesson about not believing everything we see on YouTube:
5. Even The Punks Wear Suits In L.A.
Did you notice how everyone is attired in this video? It isn’t just that they are nicely dressed — they’re “richly dressed.” Even the guy in the mohawk. There are a lot of people in Los Angeles and even on a work day, not ALL of them are in a suit. The nice woman who does stop? She’s out and about in pearls. Either FouseyTube edited out the people who didn’t look elitist to create a more resonating message or he intentionally sought out/cast people who could “complete the look.”
4. Everyone Stops
Look, Rule #1 with a homeless person is that there’s a good chance there might be some craziness to them. Frequently they’ll quote the entirety of the Bible to you if you give them an opening. But here, everyone stops walking and has an interaction with the man — even if it’s the most wicked interaction ever. These people are so evil that they would tell a homeless person they could “buy them” but they are also willing to stop and have a chat? We’re nice to homeless people, but at best we do that “walk and talk” thing.
3. The Woman Who Gets Down On Her Knees Is A Terrible Actress
The most benevolent of all the passerby is the aforementioned “woman in pearls.” As soon as she finds out the homeless guy wants to give her money, she pretty much gets down and does the “Jesus thing,” just stopping short of magically giving the guy shoes. But the whole time, it doesn’t seem like some natural person completely unaware that they are on camera. Instead, she seems like she’s trying to “be in the moment,” but she’s oddly thinking about “being in the moment.” The way bad actors do when they get on camera. Stanislavsky would be pissed.
2. The Camera And Mic Work Is Too Polished
We have a production department here at NMR, so we know a little something about the rigors of getting good shots with good sound. Notice how crisp these interactions are? There’s never any interruptions, and no one really talks over anyone else at any point in time. Not to mention, the guy at the end of the video’s sound is perfect. You can hear every syllable, despite him being so far from Fousey’s lavalier microphone (which can’t really capture sound so clearly, at such a distance).
How could people not know they were on camera when it’s that close to them? From what we could see, the lady with the pearls was being filmed from the middle of the sidewalk. The camera would be have been visible, even to the most oblivious person.
1. Normal People Just Aren’t This Evil
You know why things like the Stanford Prison Experiment and the Milgram Experiments are so famous? Because they’re both rare studies into the potential for evil in mankind. Essentially, they are the exception to humanity rather than the rule. And guess what? Those studies only worked because people were sanctioned into being evil at the behest of a superior under the mantle of a “social experiment.” Those people were evil because they were in a lab environment being told to do so.
These “random” unprovoked people that FouseyTube just “happened to encounter on an average day” are some of the WORST PEOPLE EVER. If this is real, no one told them to be, they just are genuinely rotten people who have more than disdain for urban blight, they have a contempt that is downright sociopathic. It’s shocking because it seems so much larger than life. And that makes us think it is. These people act more like they are being told to spitefully reject the oddly barefoot homeless man, whose feet, while slightly dirty, aren’t calloused and broken and nasty from living on rough concrete with no shoes.
Like we said, we give FouseyTube the benefit of the doubt. Those are just some suspicious things we happened to notice while watching this footage. Still, it’s an interesting video that, real or staged, brings out FouseyTube’s more important thesis: The real test of goodness is how we treat those that we don’t have to treat nice. And for making us think about that, this video does its job perfectly.
Share this with someone you know to start a conversation about how people treat other people.