Several people surrounded ride-share driver Omar Naderi’s car.
“I was scared,” he said. “I get carjacking twice. Hassled by immigration many times. But I am [a] citizen. New citizen, but yes, citizen.”
Naderi wiped away tears and tapped his chest to represent his pounding heart.
“I think carjacking first. People stand [in] front of car, screaming. Then I see [a] camera, makeup person, someone with boom mic. Several others. I [have a] feeling this [is the] strangest car theft ever. Or new immigration shakedown.”
It was neither.
The dozen people converging on Naderi’s car were a film crew and extras playing surprised bystanders. They were led by social media influencer Michelle Kuzenbrotz,. The crew was filming a segment for her media feeds called “The Daily Spontaneous Act of Selfless Kindness.”
The posted video shows a quivering Naderi cracking open his window. Kuzenbrotz slips a twenty-dollar bill into the space.
“You’re live!” she screams, while knocking hard on the window. “Open up! This is a surprise act of kindness! Isn’t that great?”
“I am late for [my] next ride,” Naderi says, tossing the bill back out the window. As he attempts to drive off, Kuzenbrotz leaps in front of the car.
“Hold up!” she yells, banging the hood. She points at Naderi. “Say how thankful you are to my millions of fans!”
“Thank you. Now please. I must go,” he whimpers, voice cracking.
“Aww, look at that,” Kuzenbrotz says, signaling the cameraman to zoom in. “He’s crying. We’re doing good here, people.”
Still blocking the car, she narrates the end of the clip. “Now it’s up to you, legions of fans! Let’s make this video go viral! And give your girl a follow for more spontaneous kindness!”