Summer may have come and gone, but the term "summer of scams" is definitely bleeding into autumn. If you, like most of the internet last week, found it "mildly infuriating" that Justin Bieber allegedly eats his burritos middle-first, strap in because the story doesn't end there. Yesterday, after several days of the internet trying to come to terms with the now-viral image — some believed the photo to be fake, others tried the burrito-eating tactic themselves, and even many celebs including Busy Philipps and Chrissy Teigen gave their takes on the method — a group behind the Yes Theory YouTube Channel revealed that they had faked the photo.
According to the description on their YouTube page, Yes Theory is all about "challenging what society considers normal." In order to do that, they "seek discomfort to find our own way and fulfill our true calling. And we make videos about it." Needless to say, a group of white guys actively seeking discomfort in order to prove some sort of philosophical point is a little bit suspect, but we suppose that's neither here nor there. The Yes Theory team told Refinery29 in an email this morning, "The purpose of this video was to show the world how easily the media can be manipulated to put certain news in front of us. Hopefully this can serve as a reminder to everyone to not believe everything they hear." So, how did they pull it off?
The Yes Theory guys created this faux viral moment by first enlisting the help of Brad Sousa, a Bieber doppelganger they discovered on Instagram. Knowing full well that the internet takes food very seriously, the idea of having Sousa eat a burrito in this wildly inefficient manner was quickly raised during a brainstorm about what action would be most likely to go viral.
Sousa was outfitted with a blonde wig, a pink hoodie, ripped jeans, and a camel-colored beanie, which made the wig look infinitely more real, and devoured a burrito from the middle as the Yes Theory gang photographed him. By the way, if you thought the single Bieber burrito photo was too much to handle, you might want to steer clear of the video footage of the doppelganger eviscerating the dish while the rest of the guys look on laughing.
In order to get the internet's attention, Yes Theory uploaded the photo it to the /r/mildlyinfuriating sub-Reddit. From there, it was disseminated by various Twitter accounts and Instagramers. Soon, actual news outlets picked up the story and even reached out to Conor, a friend of the Yes Theory team who they originally recruited to upload the photo to Reddit, for comment.
Even though we've now been talking about eating burritos sideways for what seems like way too long, perhaps we can look at this strange internet prank as a net positive. The video means that Justin Bieber doesn't actually eat his burritos middle first — as far as we know. (Justin, Hailey, anyone want to weigh in here?) Still, we can't help but feel bad for the burrito that was harmed during the making of this video.