Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel announced Monday that it was he who orchestrated the "biggest twerking fail ever" video that went viral last week, and says he did it in hopes that it would put an end to the gyrating dance move for good.
Kimmel admitted on his ABC late-night show Monday that he had created the YouTube clip that drew more than 9 million views in less than a week, according to The Associated Press. He also introduced stuntwoman Daphne Avalon, who played fictional, ill-fated twerker Caitlin Heller whose upside-down rump shaking went very wrong when she caught her pants on fire.
"To the conspiracy theorists on the Internet who thought the video was fake, you're right: The video was fake, we made it up," Kimmel said.
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Hundreds of news outlets were punked into showing it, he said. Kimmel marveled that some even pinned the blame for the mishap on Miley Cyrus, who brought twerking to the forefront with her performance on last month's MTV Video Music Awards.
"Good thing nothing is happening in Syria right now," Kimmel said, taking a jab at the newscasts that gave his video airtime.
In the clip posted last week, a young woman's twerking ends in screams as she topples into a table with burning candles. "I tried making a sexy twerk video for my boyfriend and things got a little too hot," reads a comment accompanying the video.
On "Jimmy Kimmel Live" Monday, the host introduced the rest of the clip that showed him bursting into the woman's living room — dressed in a pink top and black yoga pants to match hers — and dousing her with a fire extinguisher.
"All part of the job, ma'am," Kimmel says, giving a thumbs-up to the camera.
TV news directors should have done their homework before airing the clip, said Eric Deggans, TV and media critic for the Tampa Bay Times and recently announced TV critic for National Public Radio.
"Too often, especially on morning shows and cable shows not considered 'hard news' shows, they wind up running videos and commenting like they are accurate," Deggans said. But the programs often have no idea who posted the video or how or why it was produced, he said.
While viewers are aware many viral videos are fake, when they see one aired widely on TV the likely reaction is, 'Oh, it must be true. All these places are airing it,"' Deegans said. "But none has checked it out."
Some newscasters and talk show hosts hedged their bets, saying it could be a fake.
In a clip "sampler," Kimmel highlighted the video's use by, among others, HLN, ABC, and several local Fox stations.
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