On Friday, an 18 minute video began circulating on Facebook, which depicted the entire incident—including the moment when the insects were released, first by the woman, then by another passenger who hits the container of bugs out of her hand. Unlike the blurry Instagram footage, this video is clear, and contains shots from multiple angles. It’s the sort of video which gives the impression that maybe this wasn’t such a spontaneous event, after all.
Intrigued, we called Zaida Pugh, the woman who posted the video, to find out where the footage came from. After speaking for some time, Pugh admitted finally “‘It was a prank, I’m an actress. That was me.”
The entire episode, she said, was a performance art piece meant to highlight the way people with mental and emotional health issues are treated.
“I did this to show how people react to situations with homeless people and people with mental health,” Pugh explained. “How they’re more likely to pull out their phone than help.”
Pugh, 21, claims to have done over 50 similar “pranks.”
“I hate doing auditions, and I really like the reactions,” she explained. “I like it when it goes viral and people react and think.”
In fact, this is not Pugh’s first brush with viral fame.