Shoshana Roberts, star of 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman, says she was paid $200 to be filmed walking through the streets of Manhattan for 10 hours.
The video caused her to be catcalled more than 100 times and she encountered multiple rape threats directed at her.
— The Village Voice (@villagevoice) July 15, 2015
The surreptitiously filmed YouTube video was posted last October and has since been viewed over 40 million times.
Speaking about the filming process, Roberts told The Post, “I felt like crying and I have occurrences in my past of sexual assault, so I wasn’t even aware necessarily of all the times people were saying things to me.”
“I was just going over in my head and reliving, unfortunately, these memories while I was walking. I wanted to break down in tears.”
Roberts, 24, filed suit Tuesday requesting $500,000 for her exclusive performance in the viral video. The lawsuit also named Google, YouTube and T.G.I Fridays as co-defendants for making parodies of the video.
The majority of men featured in the two-minute clip are black and Latino.
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) July 14, 2015
Rob Bliss, a defendant included in the lawsuit, was the mastermind and director of the video. He admitted in a question-and-answer with Reddit that a lot of white men were taken out of the video.
Bliss statement was: “Honestly we did have a lot of white dudes in this video, but for whatever reason it worked out that they would be the ones to say something just in passing, or from a distance off camera. This made their screen time fairly short by comparison, but the numbers were relatively similar.”
He continues, “As the video says at the end, it was upwards of 100+ harassments, so obviously not everything was shown, otherwise we’d have a video that’s too long for internet attention spans.”
“But really it was across the board, just about everyone said/did something while we filmed,” Bliss ended.
Hollaback!, an anti-street harassment organization, collaborated with Bliss to promote the video. The organization’s executive director, Emily May, told The Washington Post: “We’ve had a number of rape threats and violent threats against Shoshana and we’re pulling those down as quickly as possible, but they exist.”