A "social experiment" where a woman pretended to be drunk on Hollywood Boulevard while gross men blatantly tried to take advantage of her made the rounds earlier this week. As many suspected, the viral "prank" was entirely staged. The Smoking Gun broke the story.
The stunt, posted by novice YouTube prankster and viral marketer Stephen Zhang, was intended to capitalize on the street harassment conversation that erupted around the infamous, endlessly-dissected New York City catcall video. It took the creepiness and danger to the next level, showing several men attempting to take home a drunk-seeming woman who asked for directions to the bus.
It worked. The video now has more than 7 million views on YouTube. But one of the men featured in it says the "drunk" woman wasn't the only one acting—all of the participants were playing roles, and they may have been tricked into doing it.
Mike Koshak, who plays the short guy in the fakest-seeming segment of the video, says he only agreed to be in it because he was told it was a student comedy short. "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," he wrote on Facebook.
"It's a false ass portrayal and I was lied to about what the video even was. Faulty ass shit."
The L.A. Weekly viewed a Facebook message from one of the video's creators, telling him "Yo dude, totally cool with you telling everyone that we came up to you and you acted the part for the video."
The Weekly reports Koshak is now considering legal action.