The Problem With Influencers and Public Spaces

Story by Jared Jimenez, Staff writer

Recently in today’s time there has been an uproar of Influencers trashing retail stores and occasionally even assaulting retail workers. These disturbances can range from opening then drinking/eating food and drinks afterwards putting them back, to throwing goods as far as they can, knockings goods off their shelves, to physically assaulting the stores’ staff.

Many non-influencers and internet creators are baffled at this behavior with there being many videos ridiculing this behavior. One of the most famous being internet celebrity Ray William Johnson. Ray has been around on Youtube since the 2010’s and has recently gained a lot of popularity with his Youtube shorts that consisted of roasting online friends and most importantly, ridiculing influencers who trash stores. 

In one of his videos, Ray says, “…they don’t get paid enough to clean up after your stupid TikToks. Find something more creative to do.”

Gloria Amador watching one of many videos on TikTok! (Photo taken by Jared Jimenez)

There are too many influencers to count who do these disrespectful acts. We also don’t know the names of any of these irresponsible people. This issue strays from just markets too. Influencers have made disturbances at schools, restaurants, and movie theaters. Some notable trends are the “Devious lick” challenge and the “Minions: Rise of Gru” incident.

In the infamous Devious lick challenge, where students steal school property while filming what they stole. Now, depending on who you ask, the Minions: Rise of Gru trend is either one of the greatest things of all time to happen or one of the most infamous TikTok incidents ever.

The Rise of Gru trend started when influencers apparently wanted to show their love for the Minions franchise by wearing penguin suits to go see the new Minion movie. This trend only skyrocketed when internet celebrity Mr. Beast bought out an entire movie theater with a large group of people all in tuxedos just to see the Minion movie. 

After the TikTok was uploaded, you couldn’t escape the amount of videos showing a group of tuxedo wearing movie-goers going to see their favorite banana flavored Tic-Tacs on screen. Some influencers even went a bit too far by yelling, clapping, and chucking bananas at the screen. The issue became so bad that select movie theaters turned away groups of people in tuxedo suits at the door with some not even showing the movie at all.

Minion figure on a parade float at Universal Studios Florida! (Image by Brett Kiger)

The teenager behind the trend says that it was just a fun thing he and his friends decided to do. “The trend would’ve happened with or without me, but I think our TikTok made it more viral than it would’ve been.

One might ask, “Why?”. Why would these people go out of their way to mess things up without hesitation? Well more times than not, it’s clout, clout and internet fame is the reason. In one scenario, an influencer in Vaughan, Ontario by the name of James Potok attended a West Jet flight and stated, “I just returned from a flight from Hunan Province. I might’ve said this is the capital for coronavirus and then I said I don’t feel too well.

Potok said that his intentions were, “ create a viral video”. While not physically harming or destroying anything or anyone, it still caused the flight to be turned around, heading to Ontario, rather than Jamaica.      

One of the West Jet Airline planes that Potok very well may have been on. (Retrieved from West Jet)

So if it wasn’t apparent already how irresponsible and disrespectful some influencers can be, now you know that while some influencers may be responsible and genuinely good people, others can be incredibly destructive and irresponsible.