Harrison Pawluk: Truth behind TikTok video where a shopper sitting by herself being given flowers
A shopper who appeared in a viral TikTok video receiving flowers from a young stranger while drinking her coffee said she felt dehumanized by the experience.
Social media influencer Harrison Pawluk, 22, interrupted the woman dubbed ‘Maree’ as she was having a takeaway coffee at the Emporium Melbourne shopping center, asking her to hold the bouquet.
“I’m sorry to bother you, would you mind holding this one for a second?” he asked. Pawluk then set his backpack on the ground and pulled out a black parka before walking away, leaving the woman with the flowers behind.
“Have a nice day,” he said as a friend filmed Maree watching him walk away in amazement before her expression changed to one that was misinterpreted as sadness.
Pawluk, a university business student who works in retail, shared the video on his popular TikTok account, and the clip, filmed on June 21, has so far been viewed 58.8 million times.
But Maree said she felt “dehumanized” by the entire experience and that articles about the stunt portrayed her as a “pathetic old woman.”
“At first it was just a joke to me and then I felt a bit dehumanized,” she told Melbourne ABC presenter Virginia Trioli.
“It doesn’t even seem like it’s me now, it’s just this person, it’s just not really me, I don’t even take it personally anymore, but I just think other women, especially older women, should be aware of it that if it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone.
“I think I’m actually a little offended to tell you the truth.”
Harrison Pawluk, 22, interrupted Maree while she was having a takeaway at the Emporium Melbourne shopping center, asking her to hold the bouquet before leaving it with her and wishing her a good day.
Social media influencer apologizes
Harrison Pawluk’s manager Taylor Reilly apologized to Maree
He sincerely apologizes to Maree if she was offended by what he did and urges her to contact him privately so he can apologize personally.
‘If she asks him to delete the video, he will
‘He wouldn’t want something designed to spread love and compassion to worry anyone’
Maree, who does not use social media, said the TikTok depiction of the incident as a random act of kindness was wrong.
“These artificial things aren’t actually random acts of kindness,” she said.
“It’s really not about me anymore, I just think this whole idea that this is some random act of kindness needs to be challenged.”
Maree said she noticed another young man was filming the interaction.
“I said, ‘Did you film that? They said, ‘No, no. They clearly had that.”
Maree said she didn’t even like the flowers.
“They just kind of looked at me and I even said to them – it was a friendly discussion – ‘Do you want these flowers, I don’t really want them’ and I didn’t want to carry them home on a tram really, to be honest to be.
‘They weren’t really my taste.
“They didn’t want them and then, but the person — I now know as Harrison — came over at that moment and said something about ‘I hope you enjoy the flowers’ and off they went and that was it.”
Maree said she felt worse after articles were written about the video, including by this masthead.
She said, ‘There I was, this pathetic old woman, drinking her cup from a paper cup – it was just late in the day and they weren’t handing out proper glasses.
“It’s all part of the mess of social media, isn’t it?”
Maree’s other half received a text from a friend that evening and saw the video online without much thought.
“That night a friend texted my partner and we looked and I didn’t think much about it,” Maree said.
Maree (pictured) featured in the viral TikTok video receiving flowers from a young stranger, said she felt “dehumanized” by the experience
“I thought, ‘Oh, well, who’s watching these things,’ went to bed, really forgot…because I don’t do TikTok.”
Pawluk Brisbane manager Taylor Reilly, 21, told the Daily Mail Australia that his videos of kind deeds were usually well received.
“It’s extremely rare that there’s controversy about this, probably because it went viral,” he said.
“Harrison generally gets nothing but gratitude.”
Reilly apologized to Maree and said Pawluk would be willing to remove the video.
“He sincerely apologizes to Maree if she was offended by what he did and urges her to contact him privately so that he can apologize personally,” he said in a statement.
“If she asks him to delete the video, he will.
“He wouldn’t want something designed to spread love and compassion to worry anyone.”
Pawluk, who has three million social media followers, told Daily Mail Australia last month that he was inspired by witnessing homelessness on a recent trip to LA.
“I was recently inspired to change the nature of my content and use my platform to do some good and spread some kindness,” he said.
Not enough creators are using their platforms for good.
“Hopefully I want to use mine as a vessel that spreads the good and hopefully inspires a few people along the way.”
Harrison Pawluk’s video (pictured) dated June 21 has already been viewed 58.8 million times and received 11.1 million likes. The influencer, who has three million social media followers, told Daily Mail Australia that he was inspired by witnessing homelessness on a recent trip to LA
Pawluk’s TikTok and YouTube videos earn him about $10,000 to $15,000 per month through brand partnerships and sponsored posts.
Reilly, who is negotiating sponsorship, said that popular TikTok influencers like Pawluk uploaded a video every day that targeted a very specific audience.
“Harrison isn’t out to fake his videos to get a viral video or a great response, like many creators do,” he said.
“He does this content because he genuinely believes, sometimes one person at a time, that he makes a difference.
“He’s recording acts like this because he likes to create content.
“He hopes to inspire other people to act as well and spread kindness — the snowball effect.”
Pawluk hopes his “random acts of kindness” in front of the camera will bring him some income.
“My new goal is to find like-minded companies who also want to spread kindness to work with me,” he said.
Pawluk’s 21-year-old manager Taylor Reilly (pictured), who is negotiating sponsorship, told Daily Mail Australia that his videos of kind deeds were usually well received