After looking at the evidence, I was pretty sure last week’s viral video of a skateboarder smashing a McLaren windshield—a video that has garnered over 9 million views on YouTube—was a giant farce. The only ingredient missing before we could be sure was a confession from the video uploader, but now we’ve got that.
The people who made the video now say the whole thing is an innocent “spoof,” meant as a joke, and it happened on a car that already had a cracked windshield due to be replaced.
Here’s the scoop: I received an email last night from Paul Gonzo, the YouTuber who uploaded the video below, and whose real name is Carlo Gonzalez. In the email, Carlo admits that he staged the video as a way to have a bit of fun, since the supercar—owned by his exotic rental car company Mile High Motors—was set to have its windshield replaced the following day anyway:
Carlo says in the email:
We did this as a simple spoof with zero intent to have the video go viral. In fact, this was the very first video I have EVER posted on YouTube. I myself rarely ever get on YouTube to watch videos. And just to clarify, the windshield on the McLaren was ALREADY CRACKED from a big rock chip a few weeks back.
It was scheduled to get replacement the day after we filmed the video. We just decided to have a little innocent fun amongst ourselves. Everyone in the video knows each other.
He goes on, describing how his poor camerawork actually helped propel the video into the limelight:
People seem to think this was planned by seasoned video producers and/or a social media pros. Wrong. Our camera skills are terrible (the angle that was shot was NOT done on purpose). I myself don’t use Instagram account, don’t use Twitter, and I don’t even have a SnapChap! The video became viral bc people were strangely obsessed with it’s poor filming quality which caused a huge controversy/debate world-wide as to what really happened. The footage is absolutely terrible. It turns out this mistake actually made the video much more appealing.
Carlo says he wasn’t expecting the video to blow up the way it did, as it only had 34 views by the end of the first day. But the next morning, things got crazy, and Carlo’s phone was being blown up by reporters. Carlo says he “NEVER responded or indicated to any media outfit/reporter that the video was real.”
His email continues, discussing how baffling it was that it took so long for the media to catch wind of his prank:
This is where it gets good. When our group uploaded the video..... we all agreed the footage was as bad as it could get! I also had my marketing gal look at the video on the YouTube account. The best part of the story. She debunked the video herself in less than 10 seconds! And noted that anyone would know it’s a spoof with 2 simple clicks. The YouTube account is linked to my Google+ page. The google page clearly show links and photos to Mile High Exotic Car Rental.
He goes on:
Here’s the most unbelievable part of the story....... it took over 8MILLION views before someone (9News) actually clicked on my YouTube account (click #1) which lead directly to my Google+ page (click #2). I’m still confused as to how that connection wasn’t made earlier by anyone..... bc this video should have been exposed after view number 80, not 8 million.
Just as Colorado’s 9News’ Jeremy Jojola suspected:
Some of you might be upset hearing that this video was staged—after all, nobody likes to be duped. You might be wondering if anything is sacred anymore! What happened to the days when we could go to YouTube, watch a Russian dash cam video of a bunch of cows falling from a truck, and know that it was real— that there were actually a bunch of Russian cattle walking somewhere along the Russian countryside with painful road rash on their hides?
Okay, those days never existed, and—if Carlo’s account is true—this seems like just a fun way to put a cracked windshield out of its misery.