During a pandemic in which a deadly virus is being spread by water droplets emitted when people cough, sneeze and even breathe, Queensland YouTuber and TikToker Luke Erwin has been blasted for the highly insensitive prank.
In the clip, Erwin can be seen approaching a rough sleeper from behind holding a spray bottle. He sprays water on the man and makes a sneezing noise.
Next, he quickly turns away holding his mouth area as if he had just sneezed while hiding the spray bottle from the sight of the man.
The man appeared unfazed by the incident and continued to walk away, but Erwin has faced significant backlash for the now-deleted “prank” video.
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People online didn’t hesitate to share their disapproval of the prank, particularly as it was done on a vulnerable person.
7 News reported that one person commented: “Imagine sitting around with your group of friends thinking how you need new content and thinking of this bright idea to go out into the public and pick on the less fortunate.
“You have just proven that you have a complete lack of empathy towards other human beings. Imagine anyone thinking this is remotely funny... what repulsive behaviour.”
Erwin has since deleted the video and removed his Instagram account.
It is not the first time the controversial star has been in hot water for his actions. In 2019, he and brother Joel filmed themselves scaring Sydney pedestrians with an air horn.
The brothers were later charged with assault after one of their victims claimed the prank had damaged their eardrum.