Over 100 men showed up for what they thought was a Tinder date with a woman named Natasha. But it turns out it was all for some viral marketing campaign.
This is Natasha Aponte, a model and actress from New York City. She messaged a lot of guys on Tinder, and over a series of weeks, made plans to meet up with them at a free DJ performance near Union Square. One of these men detailed his history of talking to Natasha through Tinder, how she disappeared for several weeks, then invited him to this DJ set out of nowhere.
Misha said that all these guys were milling about when Natasha ultimately took the stage and said: “‘I’ve invited you all here for a chance to go on a date with me’ and proceeds to give a Hunger Games speech about what it’s gonna take to date her.”
Dozens of men duped by a mass tinder date: https://t.co/LfHCIcOWV9@EvaPilgrim with the twist on this ultimate group date pic.twitter.com/8jbuMFusJA
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 21, 2018
And despite the deceitful nature of gathering them all there, a lot of the guys stayed! They competed in physical competitions, including a push-ups contest, and an actual 40-meter dash.
She also gave a list of physical requirements she expected. No long beards, no beer bellies, nobody under 5’10” (rude). Which begs the question: if this was more than a stunt – that is, if she really wanted to find love through this process, why invite the guys who didn’t already meet those standards? There were other requirements too – like no Trump supporters, and nobody who was dumped by their last girlfriend.
This has to have come as a big surprise to these guys, who didn’t think they were suddenly going to be part of some weird viral event, but, to be sure, some of them strongly voiced their displeasure, with one man steadily screaming “Bullshit!” during Natasha’s speech.
Reporting by Gothamist initially suggested that dozens of men showed up. The event’s creators said there was an estimated audience of 1,000. But judging from photos, which appears to have the crowd at its height, our best guess is around 200 men were there.
So, what was this all about, anyway?
The answer to that comes from a man named Rob Bliss, who confirmed to Gothamist that he produced the Tinder event.
Bliss runs Rob Bliss Creative, a viral marketing company probably best known for a 2014 video indictment of catcalling, titled “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman” He’s being cagey about what the project is for, though he says it’s not for a company or to sell any product.
Here’s his only tweet on the matter:
Their video on Thursday will likely contain more footage from the event, along with, hopefully, it’s intended purpose.
But whatever that purpose ends up being, it’ll probably be overshadowed by the fact that they publicly humiliated a bunch of people to do so.
Philip DeFranco gave his thoughts on Tuesday and called both Natasha and Rob assholes, and he’s not alone. Charles Burt tweeted to Natasha: “Your tinder prank was not an experiment, it was a morally reprehensible abuse of trust, and fairly insulting action.” Writer Caroline Overington said: “This is just awful: a beautiful woman pranks hundreds of men into turning up for a “date” with her, then humiliates them? What a mean thing to do.”
Natasha was at the VMAs and wrote on her Instagram story: “Nothing can stop me but God. Not your toxic hurt masculinity. Watch me win.”
What would you do if you showed up for a date and 100 other people were there? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.