The video above, for those who have not yet seen it, showcases a young woman by the name of ‘Caitlin Heller’ who tries to make a ‘sexy twerk’ video for her boyfriend before unintentionally setting herself on fire.
The video was published to YouTube less than a week ago (3rd September 2013) and has garnered well over 9.5 Million views. Suffice to say, the video went viral and caught the attention of media news outlets around the globe.
Like many others, I laughed at the poor girls unintended misfortune. However, the joke is on anyone who believed the video was real because it turns out that it was merely an experiment in ‘viral media’.
In the video above, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel reveals that he was behind the ‘Twerk Fail: Girl Catches Fire’ video. Kimmel hired Daphne Avalon, a professional stunt woman, to portray ‘Caitlin Heller’ for the ruse.
During the audience’s applause, after making the big reveal, Kimmel can be heard uttering the phrase “It is a good thing that nothing is happening in Syria right now”. His remark is a direct indication of how modern news media are so willing to make headlines with a humorous viral scenario, in order to salvage ratings, instead of continuing to focus on and bring light to issues that have global ramifications.
Kimmel’s prank offers a subtle reminder of how skewed the priorities of news media have become.