Texas Students’ Poster McPrank Goes Viral
They wanted to see Asians depicted on a poster at their local McDonald’s — so they made one and hung it up.
Kids these days ... so clever. That can at least be said of University of Houston student Jehv Maravilla and his pals.
When Maravilla and his friend Christian Toledo, who are both Filipino-Americans, noticed that none of the posters covering the walls of their local McDonald’s depicted people who looked like them, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
“We looked around and we saw there were no Asians in the posters around McDonald's, so we decided to do it ourselves, and I guess the rest is history,” Maravilla told Houston news station KPRC2.
In June, they set to work on filling the McDonald’s sole blank wall. As Maravilla recounts in a YouTube video depicting the process, the duo staged a photo shoot of themselves in a “natural” setting — posing as backpack-carrying students — and Photoshopped it so it would look like the other posters, with McDonald’s foods and graphic elements. Then they split the cost of having it printed up at the Office Depot, paying around $40 each — about $80 total — for a large, poster-size print.
Along the way, they found and purchased a McDonald’s uniform for about $7 at their local Goodwill and made a fake “Regional Interior Coordinator” badge for Maravilla. Then, on July 13, they stealthily hung the poster on the wall, without anyone stopping them.
There it remained for more than 50 days without anyone noticing.
“I really hope they never take it down,” Maravilla says in his video, made about five weeks after the poster went up.
But then, on Sept. 2, Maravilla — who says he was inspired in part by the film “Crazy Rich Asians” and a spurred on by a desire to see more Asians onscreen — tweeted about the milestone, prompting the video to go viral, and the cat was out of the bag.
The McDonald’s franchise in which, as of earlier this week, the poster was reportedly still hanging, issued the following statement: “We take pride in highlighting diversity in every aspect of our restaurants. We applaud these students’ creativity and hope to see them in our restaurants again soon.”
As for Maravilla, his message was clear: “All races deserve recognition, and I guess I did my part,” he said.
Photo courtesy of @Jevholution