Using Homeless Guys as Reality Show Props is Offensive

Just no

TIME

The viral YouTube video, “Making Homeless Guys Arm Wrestle For Money!” opens on a sidewalk with a 20-year-old guy in a black V-neck. He gives this introduction: “What’s up guys! I’m Coby from Model Pranksters… today we’re in New York City, we’re gonna find two homeless people, put them up to an arm wrestle. The winner gets $100.” It has been viewed more than 8 million times.

Harmless enough, right? A couple of guys down on their luck get a crack at enough cash to buy their next five or ten meals and we get to watch. (Or, maybe you’re thinking the vary premise sounds patently offensive. But let’s keep going.)

Coby Persin and his sidekick, Justin, head off in search of a vagrant with a meaty bicep. They stumble upon a middle-aged African-American man, panhandling, whose pants are ripped and barely cover his legs. The man agrees…

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