A YouTuber is receiving backlash after she hid her disabled boyfriend’s wheelchair as a “prank,” leading him to cry.
The video was posted to the couple’s channel, M and K TV, on which they boast over 90,000 subscribers. "I hid my BOYFRIENDS WHEELCHAIR to see his reaction... *HE CRIED,*" the video’s caption reads.
While it was uploaded in May of 2020, the video only recently went viral after it was shared across Twitter and TikTok. The video’s comments have since been turned off.
In the video, Mya hides her boyfriend Kalen Reese’s wheelchair at the top of the stairs while he is sleeping because he’s “not going to try to look up the stairs.” After Mya wakes him up with a slap across his neck, Reese uses his arms to drag himself around the house to look for his wheelchair. “You just gonna crawl around?” Mya asks him at one point in the video.
Reese ultimately cries. When Mya gives him back his wheelchair, he gets upset, telling her, “You freaking play too much.” She then tells him that if he doesn’t stop being upset, she is going to hide his wheelchair again and that he’s “not going to get it back this time.”
People online recently discovered the video's existence and are expressing disgust with the “prank” across social media. “I’m not going to share it, but there’s a video going around of a YouTuber hiding her boyfriend’s wheelchair as a ‘prank’ so lets make something very clear: Intentionally messing with a person’s disability (hiding mobility aids, changing out meds, etc) IS ABUSE. PERIOD,” Kendall Brown, a healthcare advocate, wrote on Twitter.
Others took aim at both of the YouTubers. “YouTube couples need to be stopped,” one Twitter user wrote of a clip from the video featuring Reese dragging himself around the house.
Both Reese and Mya are now defending themselves against the backlash. Reese wrote on Twitter that he not only approves of the video but that he edited it and uploaded it to their shared channel himself.
“Yall need get out yall mf feelings bruh fr,” he tweeted in response to a user who called the video “foul.” “The video is hilarious to me but all of yall really need to stop treating us people with disabilities like we’re are fragile ... I SPEAK FOR ALL MY WHEECHAIR USERS.”
He also similarly claimed to “speak for everyone with a disability” when addressing the backlash on TikTok. In a TikTok video, he points to content creators who have larger platforms and partake in “worse pranks,” citing the “I’m dead prank” and the “broken water prank" as examples.
“First and foremost, it was a prank,” he says before reiterating that he was “perfectly fine” with it. “I love my girlfriend, and she love me. She would never do some shit to personally hurt me like that."
Mya also addressed the backlash on her own TikTok account. "I am not using his disability for clout," she says in a video.
She adds that he occasionally gets out of his wheelchair and moves around like how he is moving in the video by choice. "Normalize people in wheelchairs moving and doing things without being in their wheelchair. That's normal," she says.
In a different video that critics online are now also pointing to, Mya pushes Reese in the pool. Reese addressed that video in another tweet, saying that he was in on the prank. “I CAN SWIM .. this was my idea lol a prank on our friends,” he tweeted.
Some noted that while Reese might be OK with the pranks, "putting out a video like this could make able partners think this is okay to do."
The Daily Dot has reached out to the couple.
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