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Woman in a viral TikTok video says she was dehumanised

Woman in viral ‘random act of kindness’ TikTok video says she was dehumanised

A woman who featured in a viral TikTok video of ‘random act of kindness’ says she was dehumanised. The TikTok video was posted by content creator Harrison Pawluk.

The video shows Harrison approaching Maree, the woman in the video, and asking her to hold a bouquet of flowers while he put on his jacket. As soon as she held on to it, he walked away. Maree appears to become emotional after.

@lifeofharrison I hope this made her day better ❤️ #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #viral #wholesome ♬ original sound – Harrison

The video got over 60 million views, 11 million likes, and several positive comments. Users praised Harrison for the gesture and called it ‘beautiful.’

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However, Maree had a different thing to say after she came across the video online. According to her, it was not a random act of kindness at all, and she called it ‘artificial.’

“He interrupted my quiet time, filmed and uploaded a video without my consent, turning it into something it wasn’t… I feel he is making quite a lot of money through it. 

“It’s the patronising assumption that … older women will be thrilled by some random stranger giving them flowers,” she said.

In addition, she accused Harrison of lying to her when she had asked him if she was being filmed. Although, she conceded that she initially saw it about a day after it was posted, as a friend shared it with her, she thought nothing of it. But, the several narratives being spun about it made her come forward.

“I feel like clickbait,” she said, mentioning that several media outlets described her as a lonely elderly woman in a heartbreaking tale.

In response, Harrison, through his spokesperson, apologised for the video. According to the statement, the content creator intended to encourage random acts of kindness, especially after he had witnessed poverty and homelessness on his trip to Los Angeles.

“He offers flowers and pays for complete strangers’ groceries. So far Harrison has only encountered gratitude for what he has done, however it is clear in this case someone is upset. He wholeheartedly apologises to Maree if she was offended by what he did and urges her to contact him privately so he can personally apologise. If she requests him to take down the video he will do that,” part of the statement read.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.