When Shoshana Roberts set out to make a undercover video, along with filmmaker Rob Bliss, on the streets of Manhattan, the last thing she expected was to receive rape and even death threats since it went viral.
The film, which was edited from ten hours down to just just two minutes, was filmed for an anti-street harassment group called Hollaback! and featured Roberts simply walking the New York streets, as Bliss filmed her 10-hour stroll from a hidden camera in his backpack.
More than 100 passersby verbally harassed Roberts, with catcalls, and offensive comments such as, “God bless you mami,” “Damn!” and “Hey, look it there!”
Roberts spoke to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday about the film, which went viral on the internet, “There are people who’ve said a lot of things, but I’m not reading what they are saying. We hit a nerve.”
Shoshana Roberts remained silent as she went about her business walking in Manhattan.
“My nonverbal cues were saying, ‘Don’t talk to me.’ No eye contact. No friendly demeanor,” she said. “But they were ignoring my nonverbal cues.”
According to Roberts, the video highlights the average day for attractive women in Manhattan, referring to when her grandfather died, “and someone told me that they liked the way I looked. It is all day long. It is every day. That’s a typical day… It doesn’t matter what you wear.”
In a separate interview which Roberts gave to HLN she said, “I have multiple experiences of sexual assault, which is why I wanted to be involved in this project.”
The most alarming part of the day for Roberts was when a random man started walking alongside her and continued following her for five minutes.
“I have been doing martial arts since I was nine, and I have a black belt in tae kwon do… and I am scared,” Roberts told Cooper.
The video has already garnered nearly 23 million views on YouTube, with many people expressing anger and rage that overwhelming majority of men making lewd comments to Roberts as she walks are African American.
As you can see for yourself in the comments on YouTube, of which there are almost 100,000, the video had sparked a massive viral race row, as you can read for yourself by clicking here.