A YouTube video purportedly showing men attempting to take home a woman they believed to be incapacitated after having too much to drink was a viral hoax, new reports are suggesting.
The Drunk Girl in Public video, created by Stephen Zhang and sold as a ‘social experiment, has been viewed over eight million times after being uploaded on 8 November. It followed on from the Hollaback catcalling video where a woman secretly filmed street harassment in New York.
It opens with 24-year-old Jennifer Box telling viewers: “Hey guys, today I'm on Hollywood Boulevard, I've had a little too much to drink. Let's see if anyone will help me to get home.”
Holding a bottle in a paper bag that she pretends is beer, the woman is approached by five different men – four of whom appear to attempt to take her home after she asks for directions to the nearest bus stop.
The video quickly went viral but some YouTube users questioned the authenticity of the video, with many suggesting the situations were staged and the men were actors.
One of the men, Josh Blaine, told The Huffington Post he felt he was tricked into looking like “some sexual predator”.
"A couple people asked me if I'd be part of their video, if I wouldn't mind 'acting out a little skit,” he said.
"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."
Meanwhile, two sources who claimed to be "familiar with the clip's production," were also quoted by The Smoking Gun (TSG) as saying the production was a “student video” and the men were approached on the street to take part in a “comedic, hidden camera” project.
Another man who was shown in the footage, Mike "Mokii" Koshak claimed he received a private Facebook message from Seth Leach, a member of the team producing the video, who told him “go with it dude, you are in our team now and we will take care of you”. The message also promised a free night of drinks, he claimed.
Koshak’s boss, LA Epic owner Christine Peters, told TSG that his Koshak, who works for his company, was “taken advantage of” and had simply been asked to “say a couple of lines for a comedy sketch”.
The Independent has contacted Mr Zhang for comment.Reuse content