Gaten Matarazzo Is Hosting A Prank Show That Hires People For Fake Jobs, And The Internet Already Hates It
In the grand tradition of Punk’d, Scare Tactics, and Jackass, Deadline reports that Netflix has ordered eight episodes of a series called Prank Encounters, in which innocent strangers will be pranked on the job by 16-year-old Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin on Stranger Things. The basis of the pranks is that people are hired for fake jobs, not knowing their new job is fake, and they were only hired so strangers at home can laugh at their misfortune. If that seems kind of like a cruel set up, then you might be one of the many people who called the show out before a single episode has been released.
Prank Encounters took the temporary title of Most Hated Thing On The Internet after the press release for the show went out last week.
“Each episode of this terrifying and hilarious prank show takes two complete strangers who each think they’re starting their first day at a new job. It’s business as usual until their paths collide and these part-time jobs turn into full-time nightmares.”
Gaten will serve as an executive producer as well as host, and it’s not known what kind of hosting role he’ll play. But I’m picturing him sitting in a van watching the chaos go down from a hidden camera, giving instructions into an actor’s ear piece, like, “Okay, now grab a rag and tell them it’s their job to wipe the extremely lactose intolerant elephant’s butt for $7.25 an hour. And when they ask for gloves, tell them there are no gloves! Ha ha! And no lunch breaks! And also no health insurance, because the job is fake LOL.”
The jobs offered on Prank Encounters will most likely be one-off gig work or odd jobs. But still, many found it cruel to dangle the opportunity of employment in front of unsuspecting people, while others pointed out that it’s in pretty poor taste for a rich teenager to prank someone who desperately needs a job. Back in March, it was reported that the cast of Stranger Things all got significant pay raises for Season 3, and Gaten reportedly makes $250,000 an episode (which works out to $2 million for the eight-episode season).
Yeah because when I get a new job to support myself. What I really want is some rich kid already making 100x more then me pranking my ass on tv for laughs. #PrankEncounters #StrangerThings https://t.co/gCWlRXTdRA
— chris calhoun (@chrishope50) June 15, 2019
Man you see that single mother of three on Prank Encounters last night? She thought she finally had health insurance then the rug was pulled out from under her. Hilarious!
— Alex (@AlexJimiThing) June 14, 2019
Just paying them after devastating them is sleezy. Many folks needing a job are 1 step away from the edge. Seems 2 me Gaten needs a real parent to offer him a firm no. Too young to understand the ramifications of his choices. The fact that he thinks this is funny is scary.
— Oregon Citizens (@OregonCitizens) June 16, 2019
Pranks are supposed to be a funny thing where everyone ends up laughing, or Justin Timberlake ends up crying. This is just a bummer. And I can tell you, as someone who was once tens of thousands deep in debt, some people will do just about anything out of financial desperation. That show is going to get really weird when one of them is told they’ve been “hired” to taste test a new energy drink made from donkey jizz, and the person responds, “Cool, do I get paid in cash or e-transfer?”