Lauren Love Walmart CEO Prank

Lauren Love Walmart CEO Prank

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Updated May 14, 2019 at 12:55PM EDT by Adam.

Added May 14, 2019 at 12:49PM EDT by Adam.

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Overview

Lauren Love Walmart CEO Prank refers to a video wherein YouTuber Lauren Love dresses up and enters a Walmart in Richmond, Texas and informs the employees that she's the Walmart CEO and tells them they're fired. The stunt was slammed by news media and social media as cruel.

Background

On April 23rd, 2019, YouTube channel Joel and Lauren TV, a channel where the eponymous couple play innocuous pranks on each other, posted a video titled “CEO Firing People Prank IN THE HOOD (GONE WRONG),” in which she dresses up and pretends to be the CEO of Walmart and fires employees. Though the video was deleted by Joel and Lauren TV,[1] a teaser was posted to Twitter by Houston ABC reporter Nick Nataro (shown below).




One segment of the video shows a woman breaking down and crying after being told she was fired. The woman, Marsha Leones, later stated in that moment she feared for her husband of 43 years, who recently had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery and her Walmart job covers medical expenses. She told NBC affiliate Click2Houston,[2] "Really, I was really so crushed, I felt so little, I felt so powerless…At that very moment, I felt so little, because back home I had a very good reputation because I’m a professor." Leones is from the Philippines.

Developments

In a statement to an ABC affiliate,[3] Walmart stated:

This prank is offensive and the people responsible are no longer welcome in our stores. We've taken actions on behalf of our associates, including asking YouTube to remove the video and calling their attention to the bullying nature of this hoax.

After Leones broke down, Love apparently felt bad and attempted to give her $50, which Leones did not take. YouTube did not remove the video as it does not violate its terms of service, but Joel and Lauren TV removed it of their own accord.

The story prompted strong responses from social media users. User @MoonPaladin wrote her "heart bleeds" for Leones (shown below, left). Author Morgan Jerkins tweeted that the entire prank was "trash" (shown below, right). The story was covered by People[1] and Buzzfeed.[4]


BlackMoonPaladin @MoonPaladin Follow My heart bleeds, melts and tears for that poor woman who burst into tears because of Lauren Love's "Prank." Can you imagine what it must feel like to hear you're fired and then think about the fact that you can no longer support your spouse's medical bills? #NotFunny BuzzFeed News@BuzzFeedNews YouTuber Lauren Love "pranked" Walmart employees by pretending to be an executive and telling them they were fired. One of the women she targeted cried and later told local news she needs her job to pay her husband's medical bills: "I felt so powerless 9:46 AM-13 May 2019 Morgan Jerkins Follow ) ﹀ MorganJerkins I don't know what happened to someone's humanity when they think it would be funny to impersonate a CEO, go into a WalMart, and tell people that they're fired One woman cried because her husband is sick. Lauren Love told her it was a joke and gave her $50. Trash. 8:42 AM-13 May 2019

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