In a video published to YouTube, an actress pretended to be intoxicated in public as a "social experiment" as she encounters several men trying to lure her into their car, or take her to their home. The video has stirred much controversy, with sources saying it's a hoax, yet has still amassed more than 7.5 million views in the past five days.
WARNING: ADULT CONTENT AND PROFANE LANGUAGE:
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Quickly, many users called the video's authenticity into question, believing that the reactions and exchanges made by the men appeared to have been staged. Several Hollywood natives, the location where the video was shot, pointed out that some of the men were known local performers in the area.
According to The Smoking Gun, two of the men featured in the video came forward, alleging that their involvement was staged as the creators fed them lines.
Mike "Mokii" Koshak, wearing the backwards cap and blue tank top toward the end of the video, said he was recruited by the creators Stephen Zhang and Seth Leach under the pretense of creating a comedic sketch video.
In a Facebook post dated Nov. 11, Koshak admits his involvement with the video:
"Just to let people know, 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. Please try to refrain from posting or tagging me in this video, as it was staged does not portray myself or any of the other people in it correctly."
Koshak's employer, Christine Peters, said that Koshak was "taken advantage of," reported The Smoking Gun. Because Peters' company name, LA Epic, is seen on Koshak's shirt in the video, Peters was upset that the company's name became associated with the video since they "don't condone such behavior."
In the video's YouTube description, there is a link connecting to Stephen Zhang's Facebook page, who credits himself as the CEO of Hygo Inc. On the Hygo website, the company claims to focus strongly on "viral social media marketing," offering services to promote Facebook pages such as "targeted, premium 'likes.'"
Hygo touts itself as an "elite agency," saying that they will only accept clients offering a minimum of "6 figure" contracts. Currently, Hygo does not list any previous clients, with listed portfolio work only consisting of several screenshots representing high volumes of Facebook likes and fans to uncredited Facebook pages.
According to The Smoking Gun, Leach tried to reassure Koshak of his involvement, quoting a Facebook message: "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."
There is no clear indication as to how exactly Zhang or Leach were involved, or whether Hygo was involved at all. Hygo's own Facebook page has not been updated since July 15.
Do you believe the men's reaction in the video seem genuine or not? Let us know in the comments below.
Viral video depicting men as sexual predators is a hoax, says actor
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