A California woman has gone viral for allegedly stopping a man from boarding up a store in Santa Monica to pose with his power drill, making it look like she was helping place the barricades. The photo op has been slammed as “disgusting” in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, which have continued across the country.
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The woman, who was identified in reports as California resident Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin, is seen in the short clip as holding a power drill and posing in front of a boarded-up store, appearing as if she was helping. Moriarty-McLaughlin then hands the man back his drill and thanks him profusely before she gets into a Mercedes and drives off.
Twitter user @ewufortheless put up the video outing the woman for “using this terrible situation to promote herself instead of the man who’s actually helping,” among other complaints.
“This lady stopped someone boarding up a store in Santa Monica so she could hold the drill for a picture, then drove away. Please don’t do this,” Ewu writes in the post.
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The video received immediate backlash from Twittizens and celebrities. Moriarty-McLaughlin, who according to MuckRack is a contributor to conservative media outlet the Washington Examiner, deleted her Twitter and changed her Instagram to private. She has not addressed the situation publicly. Photos of her previously posted tweets have been shared, showing her as being critical of the protests.
Singer Pink slammed the video, writing, “What is wrong with these entitled a--h---s?! Who the f--- are you and who are your parents you horrible person. How can anyone defend this???!!!”
Director Ava DuVernay also voiced her criticism of Moriarty-McLaughlin’s stunt.
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The young woman is not the only white person gaining attention online for seeming to use damage from the protests as a photo opportunity. Another woman was ridiculed for using a damaged T-Mobile store as a backdrop for her Instagram picture.
“Girl is making her boyfriend take a picture of her in front of a smashed T-Mobile. Oh my God,” the person recording the video says.
Protests have continued across the country for days following the killing of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck. Two doctors have since ruled the death a homicide by asphyxiation. Some of these peaceful demonstrations have led to violence at night, with storefronts being destroyed or businesses being looted.