A young man decided to use his girlfriend to get TikTok famous. Because this man was willing to sacrifice his girlfriend for his own notoriety, he has become more TikTok infamous than TikTok famous. Because John Schoepf exploited his girlfriend’s biggest fear while they were on vacation in Cancun, Mexico, in the middle of a global pandemic, he has earned the ire of social media users across the world, including both in the United States and in TokTok’s home country of China.
Schoepf uploaded the godawful video on September 27, 2020, just to get millions of people to laugh at his girlfriend’s fear. Because the love of his life, Taylor, is “terrified of sharks,” Schoepf thought it would be clever to use that against her. Instead of showing empathy for the woman who gives him so much joy every day, he decided to publicly humiliate her on the Chinese-created social media app, choosing it over the America-made alternatives like Instagram and Snapchat.
Schoepf uploaded the “hilarious” video, where he pushed Taylor into a shark tank just to mess with her. Obviously, since she is “terrified of sharks,” this prank was not going to sit well with her. But Schoepf already knew she wasn’t going to like it, but he did not think his TikTok fans would be outraged, too.
The video starts when a friend points out a shark to Taylor. Before she realizes that her biggest fear in life has come to fruition, her “beloved boyfriend” pushes her toward the deadly predator into the shark tank.
Thankfully, Taylor is pulled out of the water immediately. As she breaks down in tears, Schoepf bursts out laughing at her pain and suffering. In the background of his video, he chose to play the theme music from Jaws.
Most TikTok users agreed that the video was not funny but simply “cruel” and evil.
“That’s not funny it’s humiliating,” one user said. “So embarrassing to be crying in front of a crowd of people while being recorded. This was cruel, not funny.”
“Messing with people using their real fears is not funny,” another added. “It’s beyond cruel.”
“This is simply extremely abusive behavior,” a third commented.
Schoepf, intent on making the people using the Chinese-created TikTok app to like him, uploaded a second video. Just like any abuser, he assures the audience that Taylor was never in any real danger. Although she was pushed into shark-infested waters – and he had a hearty laugh about it – he didn’t think her life was at risk.
“I know everybody hates me, but … people were in the water petting [the shark],” he said. “Everybody hates me, but [Taylor] doesn’t hate me that much.”
“We’re very happy,” Taylor added.
Nevertheless, TikTok users urged Taylor to dump Schoepf and find a boyfriend who would put her life first – not use it to earn likes online.
“This is emotionally abusive, and you shouldn’t have to deal with it,” one person said to Taylor.
“You deserve to be in a relationship with someone who PROTECTS you from your biggest fears, not THROWS you in front of them,” another added.
“Break up with him,” one person suggested.