YouTube 'Pranksters' draw ire for using homeless
Recently, YouTube contributors "Model Pranksters" saw one of their videos go viral in a big way.
The duo posted a video they shot of two homeless men arm wrestling for money, aptly called "Making Homeless Guys Armwrestle for Money". The pranksters offered $100 to the winner and said the loser would go "home" empty handed. But one of the pranksters, Robert Persin, decided beforehand, out of view of the two combatants, that both would get paid.
Ultimately the two men agree to the challenge and ultimately there was a winner and a loser. However, after being handed $100 the winner decided he'd split his winnings with the loser saying "I know how it is, man... no harm, no foul." The other man, takes the money."
At that time Persin says he's moved by the gesture and offers each man another $100 each.
After the video went viral a writer for Time Magazine took the "Model Pranksters" to task, saying they were exploiting the homeless.
"...And there'rs value in deflating the notion that the more desperate a person is, the greedier he must be. But that lesson has unfortunately subsumed the more important one: That no matter how amusing, it's wrong to exploit the vulnerable for a cheap thrill."
Persin attempts to defend himself in an interview saying, "People in the comments section make it seem like we're bad people, saying 'You should have just given him the money.' But then there'd be no video."