That Viral Video Of A 'Drunk Girl' Asking For Help On Hollywood Blvd. Was Faked
Creepy guys harassing gals on the street is a real problem, but that viral video purporting to show what happens when a drunk gal stumbles around Hollywood Boulevard asking for help turns out to be fake. Some of the dudes in the video are none too happy about their portrayal: they say they were tricked into participating in what they thought would be a comedic student video.
The video bills itself as a social experiment answering the question: what happens when a drunk woman in need asks men for help getting to the bus stop? Actress Jennifer Box, 24, sips out of brown paper bag and pretends to be drunk. She slurs and stumbles. She chews the scenery a bit. When she asks the men for help getting home, the men on camera seem less concerned with helping her and more interested in taking advantage of her incapacitated state.
The woman's part was supposed to be staged, but it turns out the sleazy men's parts were, too. The Smoking Gun reports that two sources familiar with the production of the video approached men on the street to take part in a "comedic, hidden camera" video. One man who refused to participate said the film crew didn't ask for participants to sign a release or any other kind of paperwork.
It landed one of the men who did appear on camera in trouble with his company. Mike “Mokii” Koshak works for LA Epic, which stages nightclub crawls. He's based in Hollywood trying to sell tickets to the crawls to tourists. He was wearing a company shirt and hat in the video, which did not please his employer, who says they wouldn't condone the creepy behavior portrayed in the video. LA Epic owner Christine Peters told The Smoking Gun that Koshak was taken advantage of when he was asked to "say a couple of lines for a comedy sketch." Peters said, "They made it seem like he was trying to take the girl home."
Koshak wasn't happy with the video and let everyone know it was fake:
Post by Mike Mokii Koshak.
Seth Leach, 22, who worked with the video's creator Stephen Zhang, 20, to recruit men for the video tried to reassure Koshak with a Facebook message and lure him with promises of fame and fortune and night of free drinking: "The important thing to consider is that this video is going to get you well known and have a future with us and our company." He added: "We are going to be huge and you are apart of it. Just go with it dude, you are in our team now and we will take care of you."
All of those people who were concerned for the poor men caught being creeps on camera were only half-right. It appears that these men had not signed releases, and they certainly did come off looking horribly. But it looks like they had not been caught in the act of doing anything more than helping filmmakers who seemed more intent on viral fame than creating social change.
Many of those who viewed the video shrugged their shoulders at the results of alleged social experiment. How could a woman expect to not be abducted and raped if she gets drunk on Hollywood Boulevard? Even the quasi-feminist site Jezebel wrote "if the test pool is erected in one of America's murkiest place to prove that people are gross, what new information are we to glean? Hollywood is crawling with aspiring date rapists. Got it."
This video did not capture the disturbing phenomenon of men—in Hollywood and elsewhere—eager to take home a woman who isn't able to consent to sex. Instead it does show another more uniquely Hollywood story: tricking actors into appearing in a production that runs counter to their own interests.