A woman took to TikToker after it filmed her parents without their permission and pricked them in a viral clip.
Two weeks ago, Amal Awad’s parents were walking in Sydney when social media star Luke Irwin, wearing a sling, approached them to ask if they could help him open a water bottle. The couple moved away.
The content creator’s arm is not broken. The 21-second clip was part of the “acts of kindness” trend on social media.
The video, titled “Don’t Be the One Who Doesn’t Help,” saw the influencer turn to the camera with a look of disbelief as the couple didn’t stop to help him.
Irwin’s video has attracted 2.6 million views, with some offensive comments towards the elderly couple.
“These first people are just abominable!!!” one person wrote.
Another said “I don’t understand why no one is helping”.
A third commented, “If people can’t even open a bottle of water, humanity is doing really poorly…”.
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On Wednesday, SBS reporter Awad wrote an opinion piece to reveal that the couple are her parents.
“My parents are not disapproving, and they are not haters,” she wrote.
My mother said that what she saw was two men approaching her (the other was filming), their intentions unclear. “She didn’t notice the man’s arm was in a sling,” she said.
“They were upset by the video and the comments it led to.”
The writer and author added that the TikTok trend has been “at worst monetary annoyances”.
“My parents, who mind their own business, should have the right to their privacy,” she said.
Not all comments on Erwin’s video were negative, some users defended Awad’s parents.
“I don’t think it’s right to shame people for not helping. I don’t know what they’re going through,” one wrote.
Another quipped, “I’m sure you’d feel comfortable with a stranger approaching you on the street, too.”
Irwin, who has more than 898,000 followers on TikTok, responded to Awad’s article.
“I apologize to the family that was involved in this and the parents of the people who were involved in this video,” he said.
TikToker went on to say that it changed its content
“I was doing all these horrible pranks that I wasn’t proud of,” he said.
Now, I’ve changed my content. I’m giving back to the homeless. I’m helping those in need.
“Everyone can clearly see the change I’ve made in my content and it’s a happy place to give back.
“But, I want to point out that all the media want to address is negative, negative, negative and not ‘Oh, Luke gave this person $500 back or Luke raised awareness about depression and anxiety and then everyone took the free money off of him.'” None of that.
My page is a safe and happy place. I’m trying to spread awareness. I try to spread positivity.
“I want to give back to people and all my decisions won’t always be right, but I just wanted to talk about it to the media.”
This isn’t the first time Erwin has drawn attention for his content.
Last year, the internet personality made headlines for a stunt involving alcohol at the Brisbane Invasion Day protest.
In 2018, the social media star was charged after he was caught jumping off Brisbane’s Goodwill Bridge as part of a dangerous viral stunt.
Originally published as TikTok influencer slammed for shaming people with ‘kindness’