CGI influencer Lil Miquela, makes up story of being sexually assaulted in a Lyft, and the “Me Too” crowd is losing it
"What type of sick shit is this?"
A while back I wrote a piece about a new phenomenon: Instagram famous influencers who are computer generated fake people. Yes, fake people, with real Instagram accounts, doing fake things, and making real money off of advertisers.
It’s a confusing situation — but, then, these are confusing times.
Only recently, one of these CGI accounts named “Lil Miquela” posted a vlog of herself, discussing an incident wherein she was sexually assaulted during a Lyft rideshare. She describes the incident: being picked up by the Lyft, which smelled like “jasmine air freshener and old man farts.” But that was a discomfort she could tolerate. It wasn’t until the rideshare picked up the other passenger that things started to take a turn for the strange.
When the other passenger got in the car, Lil Miq says he started creeping on her almost immediately — staring at her with a curiosity that bordered on lust. He leaned over so close she could “small his breath” and asked her: “Are you real?”
“This particular weirdo had this weird ass smile, and he felt way too comfortable in my space. Like, taking manspreading to a whole new extreme,” Lil Miq recounts in the vlog. “I smiled nodded brushed it off and turned and looked out the window.
“And then, sure enough, I feel this guy’s cold meaty hand touch my leg, as if he was confirming I’m real. His hand literally lingers there rubbing my skin.”
She asked him to stop. He didn’t. In fact, Lil Miquela says that this rat bastard pinched her as he was pulling his hand away. She yelled at him, “WTF?” As the Lyft driver did his best to ignore what was happening in his backseat.
“Then this creepy ass man starts laughing. And then says, ‘What about, down there?’”
Lil Miquela at this point demands the driver pull over, and spills out of the car directly onto the 101 freeway. The poor girl had to walk ten minutes to the nearest exit, before she could get another Lyft.
It sounds like a traumatic ride, no doubt. But, of course, none of it happened. Not in reality, at least. All of it was a total fabrication, a scripted lie written up by Trevor McFedries (aka Yung Skeeter), the creator of Lil Miquela. He thought this sexual assault scenario up, wrote it out and had a voice actor record the story, then whipped up a CGI vlog of their CGI influencer, and posted the story to Lil Miquela’s Instagram account.
The internet responded with a near-unbridled fury. People were pissed, and rightly so. Sexual assault is a very real thing, and having a CGI woman bemoaning to her millions of real followers about an incident that never actually occurred, it sets a bad precedent. Lil Miquela (and therefore Yung Skeeter) was essentially lying about this assault, and that is dangerous. Lying about something so real and serious belittles the women who have actually experienced real sexual assaults.
Not only that, but it stokes the fires of denialism. It gives ammunition to all those men (and women) out there who want to sweep real accusations under the rug.
The responses on Twitter and Instagram were swift and merciless. Here are a few of my favorites:
Absolutely fucking not. ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOT. A virtual project telling me some story of an unreal sexual assault pisses me off just as much as when women lie. It's a fabrication. A dangerous one. There are ways to make @lilmiquela relatable. This isn't one of them. https://t.co/zFPdXjTgzW— Anna Davenport (@disturbance_atd) December 13, 2019
the creators of lil miquela have apparently made 6M dollars through donations towards this ... mess https://t.co/58nze7E6K8— theybie jesus (@kranewife) December 13, 2019
nah. at first it was kinda interesting. maybe. but @lilmiquela you’re playing wit real stories... real trauma.. sexual assault is a scary real reality and at this point you’re ignorantly offensive. what type of sick shit is this. https://t.co/gS4LLVndZV— Kehlani (@Kehlani) December 12, 2019
In the end, though this is probably just a provocative marketing ploy. It generates outrage which generates interest. And when journalists (like me) start writing about how morally questionable the whole thing is, it only brings more attention and more followers to Lil Miquela.
Who, it’s important to note, will not and cannot be punished for this. She surely won’t lose her Instagram fame, or her influencer status, and it’s not like she can actually be reprimanded for lying about something. How does one scold a CGI figment of the imagination?
By scolding its creator, I suppose. Yung Skeeter, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do…