A neighborhood coalition that reportedly was protesting Justin Bieber’s plans to move into their Atlanta neighborhood was completely made up by two radio show hosts.
The group conducted a protest but the group was actually six interns at The Regular Guys show on Rock 100.5.
The interns dressed “rich,” as in “”just in a nice shirt with a high-waisted belt,” host Steve Rickman told E! News. The interns carried signs such as “She doesn’t want the ‘B’,” “No Justins, no peace,” “Keep Bieber Out,” “No Bieber in Buckhead,” and ones that included crude language.
“We just sent tweets out, and that’s it—just social media,” explained Rickman. “We did not send press releases or anything like that to our local affiliates. We’re really not trying to, you know, burn everybody—we’re just doing something fun.”
Larry Wachs, another host, bragged that 33 international media outlets, including the usually accurate TMZ and the much less accurate CNN, were fooled. Altogether over 45,000 news stories were generated, Wachs claimed.
“We’re concerned he’ll bring the wrong type of element into a quiet, residential area,” he said over the weekend. “It is our position that a person with his means could certainly find a neighborhood more suited to his eclectic lifestyle.”
The hoax included a Facebook page created under the guise of someone posing as a mother in the community.
“Justin Bieber’s relocation to Atlanta can be nothing but bad for our children, as well as the community,” the fake mother said on the page. “Some can’t even let their children play in the driveway without fear; he has raced vehicles under the influence, before. What’s to say he won’t do it again?”
“We just did it as a fun thing,” said Rickman. “I mean it spun completely [out of control]…We’re blown away. It’s a home run when you’re a morning radio show.”
Bieber, who is actually considering moving to the Atlanta area, took to Twitter to react to the protest.
“I guess I’m an easy target for some. I’m still human,” he said. “I will continue to meet hate with love. It’s all about the music. Much love.”