Australian vlogger Jamie Zhu is now being accused of making light of disabilities. https://t.co/FLM5b2tyuo— Men's Health Mag (@MensHealthMag) January 23, 2020
An Australian YouTuber and vlogger is receiving online backlash after faking a foot injury in order to get a free seat upgrade on a flight. The controversy began when Jamie Zhu — who has over 1.1 million followers on Instagram — uploaded a video titled “How To Fly Business Class For FREE!” on his YouTube page on Jan 15th.
In the three-minute clip, Zhu puts on a fracture boot and pretends to have a broken ankle for his Cathay Pacific flight. When he fails to fit the foot brace inside his economy seat, he is successfully upgraded to a business-class seat.
The video has drawn major criticism from Zhu’s followers across various social media platforms. One user branded him a “scumbag,” saying: “It’s people like you that make the lives of honest people more difficult,” while somebody else commented: “I spent weeks in a boot for surgery. Disabilities are not something to prank about!!!”
Zhu defended his shameless actions and video, telling Insider: “Some other people felt the need to criticize it, but at the end of the day, if they’re that upset over my upgrade, all they have to do is call me, and I can help them plan their next flight experience... I’m sure we have all tried to find a way to get something for free or for a discount and in this video I have done nothing but that. At the end of the day, my intentions for my videos are to make fun, lighthearted, and entertaining content and the video really showcased Cathay Pacific’s high standard of customer service on their flights.”
He even doubled down and said that the fracture boot he bought for the stunt “will now be put to good use on my next flights.”
Sources: 1 | 2