That Photo of Bieber Sideways-Scarfing a Burrito Was a Big Fat Fake

It really was too good to Belieb, a prank carried out by a bunch of YouTubers.

Dear everyone who freaked out about that photo purporting to show Justin Bieber eating a burrito sideways.

It is not too late now to say sorry. In fact, you probably should. Because it turns out that wasn’t a photo of Justin Bieber after all, but rather an elaborate – and highly amusing – hoax carried out by a comfort-zone-probing YouTube video-making collective, Yes Theory.

As they explain in a video detailing how they carried out their caper, Yes Theory enlisted the help of a Bieber lookalike, whom they brought in, dressed up as Bieber (tattoo-covering pink hoodie, scraggly blond wig, knit cap), sat on a park bench, and then photographed eating a burrito in a manner deliberately intended to induce irritation.

After initially failing to get viral traction on gossip blogs or Reddit, the Yes Theory team posted the photo on a popular subreddit, Mildly Infuriating, where it caught fire. Paper magazine picked it up first, declaring that what we now know to be the fake Biebs’ burrito-eating method went “against laws of God and man.” The news spread to countless other outlets, many striking a similarly hysterical tone.

Eventually, New York magazine’s The Cut thought it might smell a rat underneath all that bleach-blond Bieberesque hair. The details in the photo just didn’t seem to add up. (When FN Dish picked up the story, it noted that doubts about the photo’s authenticity were already percolating.) The Cut reached out to Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, seeking confirmation, but at that point, Braun was not commenting.

Now he has.

“Well done to the @yestheoryguys... but you can never prank a prankster... as for everyone else... 🤦🏻‍♂️ #itisnotJustin,” Braun wrote on Instagram, alongside a video of him chatting on the phone with the Yes Theory dudes.

“I just want you to know you can’t prank a prankster, but I’m going to play along,” Braun tells them. “I’m not going to say anything because it’s really funny.”

That it surely is.

Lesson of the day: Seeing is not always Beliebing.

Photo courtesy of Reddit

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