A new video appears to show Jonathan Majors breaking up a fight between teen girls, but the timing of the video’s release and its contents have made many people suspicious about it being staged.
According to TMZ, which first posted the video online, the fight occurred at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles on Monday—and Majors happened to be nearby when he stepped in to break it up. The girls’ faces are blurred, and Majors puts his hands up so that the girls keep their distance from one another. Several people are filming the altercation with multiple devices, including what looks to be a laptop. The person filming the fight (in vertical mode) holds a second device while filming: a smartphone with the message “iPhone storage full” on the screen.
The video—and TMZ’s subsequent interview with Majors—is framing Majors as a good samaritan who happened to be in the right place at the right time (he was picking up In-N-Out when the fight was said to have occurred) and stepped in to deescalate what TMZ described as an “intense high school fight.”
TMZ’s video immediately went viral as people watched and analyzed it from every angle. And while some found a new appreciation for Majors because of his actions, another thought quickly prevailed online. Many questioned the validity of the video (some wondered if it constituted scabbing during the SAG strike) and whether it was staged as a transparent PR stunt to rehabilitate Majors, who was charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend in March.
“I have never seen something more staged in my life omg……” @keyon wrote.
“The fact that TMZ is the first to release that Jonathan Majors video and not the ‘high schooler’ that recorded it on some account with 300 followers says everything lmao,” one person added.
“This might be one of the saddest PR moves that I’ve ever covered on this account,” @producerliz observed in a TikTok about TMZ’s new video. “And I don’t mean sad in a sympathetic way. It’s sad that anyone thought this would work.”
Sure enough, people began to meme the Majors video and depict what they thought the team behind its planning looked like, usually leaning on pop culture markers like Better Call Saul and Nathan For You.
But people also questioned the timing of the video’s release. TMZ reported that the fight happened on Monday, but the video wasn’t released until Thursday, just one day before Majors is set to appear in court on charges of harassment and assault, with at least one person suggesting the move was to ensure that a different story popped up when Googling Majors’ name.
Majors has denied those accusations, filed a complaint against the woman who said he assaulted her, and through his lawyer, pointed to a video that proved his innocence. His next court date is Sept. 15, stemming from an arrest in late March.