Two weeks ago, the YouTube prankster Adrian Gruszka, better known as Adrian Gee, posted a video on his channel in which he pretended to be a blind man, asking people on the street if they had change for a $5 bill and then handing them a $50. Many of the people in the video corrected Gruszka’s mistake. That video, “The Real Blind Man Honesty Test (Social Experiment),” currently has more than 2.1 million views.
Gruszka is one of a host of YouTubers who’ve built a cottage industry out of Candid Camera–style pranks — usually in which the host and star says outrageous or offensive things to supposedly real people, sometimes testing their reactions but more often just trying to provoke an outsize response. The Adrian Gee channel currently has over 189,000 subscribers, and it features many videos similar to the blind test: “Dropping the Phone in Public,” “Asking GIRLS If They MASTURBATE!” and “My Mom Said I Need A Girlfriend. Let’s kiss?”
Gruszka’s also a fake. He was unmasked earlier this week by the Australian program Today Tonight: All of the people featured in the “blind test” video were actors. Armed with casting calls and a series of behind-the-scenes photos, they confronted Gruszka with the evidence. One of the actors even listed the video on his résumé.
Confronted with the evidence, Gruszka and his producing partner walked out of the interview. Two of the actors featured in the video say that they weren’t aware of how the footage would be used, and are now worried about being branded as real-life thieves.