You might have seen a video in your Facebook newsfeed earlier this month that was filmed via camera phone. An obviously pregnant young woman is arguing loudly with her boyfriend/father of her unborn child.

The fight gets physical and passengers intervene twice. One woman even takes off her coat and appears ready to shield the pregnant woman with her own body. The boyfriend ends up getting physically attacked by two young men on the train. The pregnant woman tries to pry the men away and begs them to leave her boyfriend alone.  Passengers plead with the woman to not go home with the boyfriend, but by the time the video ends, it appears that the couple exits the train together.

The video garnered thousands of views and a slew of comments on various social media platforms. Some people blamed the pregnant woman for her own predicament, some were disgusted by the boyfriend’s callousness and many praised the bravery of the couple’s fellow train passengers. A very interesting and diverse dialogue on domestic violence emerged. Just another crazy New York moment caught on camera, right? Not quite.

The video was a “prank” or at least that’s how the lead actress in that bit of public theater describes it. Her name is Zaida Pugh (a.k.a. Zaida Waters a.k.a Ms Muffin). Her website and YouTube channelmake it clear that the videos are pranks, but most of the people passing along the videos and surely all of the unsuspecting members of the public in the videos, have no clue that the scenarios are not real. Pugh agreed to a phone interview with theGrio to talk about her video stunts.

Broaching serious issues through comedy

The domestic violence video is probably not the only one you’ve seen from Pugh. Do you recall the video of the “bad” little boy eating grapes in the grocery store and snatching the wig off of his mother’s head? That’s Pugh.

Or how about the one where a woman loudly proclaims on a train that she contracted AIDS from her ex-boyfriend? And then there’s the video from last summer of Pugh “giving birth” on the Coney Island boardwalk amid romantic drama.

Pugh says her stunts have a bigger purpose than just entertainment.

“Most of them are wake up calls for situations like that. That video of the pregnant girl was meant as a wake up call for women in domestic violence. I let them know that there is a way out. It shows what women go through. People go through real situations like that,” said Pugh.

(Continue Reading @ The Grio…)

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  • Rian

    Videos like this acting stuff out aren’t good anymore every now & then it’s okay too see reactions for things like statistics but always making stupid shit like this is ignorant because if someone is really in danger or going through something no one is going to help because they’re going to think it’s a joke. Like the boy who cried wolf

    • Shirl

      You took the word’s right out of my mouth. I agree 100%

  • SDL

    While I want to applaud her effort for starting a dialogue, her efforts are totally misguided and potentially dangerous. Ms. Muffins really gives more thought to promoting herself than any victims that she could help. People are already reluctant to intervene in personal/domestic situations. What happens when a woman gets beat up while people standby thinking it’s for show or a camera crew will come running out?

  • vintage3000

    “I let them know that there is a way out.”

    No she doesn’t. She and the other actor create a huge scene, and they exit the subway car. What is this teaching? And in all honesty, if I had been in that car and saw her smush dude in his face like that (which was the first physical contact shown), she would have been on her own far as I was concerned. I believe if you are a woman and want to start a physical fight with a man, handle the outcome yourself.

    Last summer there was a group of young people getting on the subway in NYC and they staged something similar. A young couple gets on the train, the girl looked meek and terrified, and the guy gets loud and verbally abusive and it appeared he was going to assault her. He chased her through the car. Both times I saw it, folks were standing up to call the conductor, confront the guy, etc. The whole scene lasted about two minutes, tops (it wasn’t a long, drawn out soap opera like this “prank” featured here). Afterwards they announced to the car that it was not real, they thanked anyone who came to the woman’s defense, and they handed out fliers announcing themselves as a Christian youth group that was having classes to show women where they could go if they were being abused. Then they handed individual flowers to every woman in the car, and again thanked the men who stood up to protect the alleged damsel in distress (btw more women stood up than men-no shock there). I thought it was pretty cool to highlight this issue in such a dramatic way, AND offer a possible solution to anyone who may experience this horror.

    In comparison, this Muffins chick comes off as merely disingenuous and self absorbed.

  • I dislike pranks and this one doesn’t teach anything…. All she did was get the “boyfriend” beat up for real… and the other passengers riled up and nervous.

  • bayman61

    Actress? Yea right. She needs a lot of training to be a real actress. She is only doing what comes natural to her and . . . others. Those videos are ignorant, but do let people see the real blacks.