Man Who Fabricated Story Behind Viral Scowling Boy Photo Claims Backlash Got Him Fired
Bill Muhammad, the man who posted the photo, claims the post was a joke that has since spiraled out of hand.
Update (November 21, 2018): Facebook user El Prive found himself going viral after posting photos of a grumpy boy with a humorous caption that referred to the youth as his "son." The boy was not, in fact, related to Prive, and his real parents aren't pleased.
Neither, according to Prive, are a number of internet users who he says tracked down his place of employment. The man behind the viral post took to Facebook to claim these people continuously called his bosses to demand his firing and that they were eventually successful, leaving him unemployed.
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"Lost my job over misunderstanding and numerous calls to my corporate office for accusations of fraud ... and being on the news," El Prive wrote.
The boy's real mother, Tantarnea Arnold, told First Coast News El Prive was using her son's photos to make money. Prive pushed back against this claim on his Facebook page:
"Ya'll broke a*ses ain't even give that baby $100," the gentleman wrote, promising the "[$]23.52" he says he received following the post will go to charity.
Original: Images of a little boy scowling in his school photos have gone viral, but the boy's mom says a man is using the pictures without her permission to scam the internet.
The photos were first posted on Saturday by Facebook user "El Prive," who goes by the name Bill Muhammad. The pictures show an adorable young boy dressed up in his Sunday best posing for his school picture. Unlike most students delivering a cheesy grin in their photos, this little boy has an irritable scowl.
"I ate his pop tart before his class picture and he said he never smiling again," Muhammad captioned after asking for prayers for "his son." His post included the hashtags #poptartforeverfund and #cashapp, along with his Cash App username, $bandobill. According to Yahoo, it gained over 156,000 shares and more than 40,000 comments after two days.
Shortly after the online community caught wind of the photos, a woman named LaShunta Arnold shared Muhammad’s post, exposing the man for falsely claiming the images belonged to him. Arnold revealed the child was her son, Makari, and tagged his father, Michael Arnold, in her Facebook post.
While she acknowledges that the memes created from Makari's photo are "hilarious," Arnold is not OK with a stranger making money from her son's likeness.
Per WWLTV in New Orleans, the images date back to 2017 and were taken at his daycare. Makari's photos initially went viral last year after his cousin posted them.
Unfortunately, we have yet to know why the kid was so dang upset.
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