Prominant YouTube prankster Roman Atwood is raking in the views on his latest video, in which he leads his girlfriend to believe that their son has died in a fiery explosion. If that seems callous, this isn’t even the first time Atwood has used his son’s death as a prank.
The Washington Post reports that the victim of the prank was Roman Atwood’s long time girlfriend Brittney Smith. The object of the prank was to convince his girlfriend that her 3-year-old son Kane was the victim of a terrible ATV accident.
The full video of the prank, in which Atwood switches his son out for a dummy before sending an ATV to jump off a ramp and explode, is available below.
Smith is visibly disturbed as she watches her toddler explode, but when she runs to try and help him, she sees that it was all a prank.
“It’s not funny,” an infuriated Smith says to Atwood, who agrees, but covers his mouth to avoid laughing. “That is not funny.”
Then Atwood changes his tune. “It’s kind of funny,” he insists, and earns himself a kick from Smith.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Atwood pretended to throw his child off a balcony last year.
That prank started much the same as this one, with Atwood’s girlfriend arriving to find Atwood playing with then-toddler Kane. The child is dressed in a Spider-Man costume, and when Smith leaves to get him a glass of water, Atwood switches his kid out for a dummy.
When Smith returns to the balcony, Atwood appears to throw their child to his death.
By this point, you’d think that Atwood’s girlfriend would have identified the pattern. But maybe that’s just the price of having a YouTube prankster like Roman Atwood in your life.
By all accounts, prank videos like these are big business for YouTube, despite the human misery they may or may not create. The video where Atwood seems to throw his kid off a balcony was uploaded in November of last year, and it has clocked nearly 35 million views.
The prank where Atwood’s kid appears to blow up on an ATV has only been on YouTube for about three days, and it’s already closing in on 9 million views.
That’s good money if you can make it, but the prank video competition on YouTube is fierce. According to Tubular, 152,000 YouTube content creators have racked up 6.3 billion views in the prank comedy category over the last year.
Atwood’s videos, including the two where he pretended to kill his kid, have racked up over 1.8 billion views, and he isn’t even the most popular prankster on YouTube. That title belongs to SoFloComedy, which had 511 million views in September of this year alone.
Some YouTubers pull “pranks” on random people they meet on the street, or even police, with predictable outcomes. Others, like Atwood, have no problem pranking his loved ones.
The one thing they have in common is that people love to watch them.
Do you think it’s appropriate for a dad like Roman Atwood to make money pranking his girlfriend about the death of their son? And if you were Brittney Smith, would you stick around to have it happen a third time?
[Screengrabs via YouTube]