Video went viral for all the wrong reasons.

While some YouTubers set out to get views with interesting content, a cute anime voice or helpful makeup tutorials, others choose to carve out a more hazardous route by using practical jokes and pranks to get themselves noticed instead.

Japanese YouTubers Hekitora House have firmly pitched their tent in the latter group, and while their pranks have caused controversy in the past, this time they’re making headlines for a viral video that appears to make fun of women in a derogatory way.

▼ Hekitora House (left to right: Soma Transistor, Hekiho, and Jin Kawaguchi) in a promo photo used by management company Kiii.

The video, which has since been removed from their channel, showed the three young men from Hekitora House walking around the streets at night, approaching women from behind and tapping them on the shoulder to get them to turn around. Once the women turned around, the men could be heard laughing loudly as they judge whether the woman is “bijin” (beautiful) or “busu” (ugly).

This video was actually a follow-up to their “Turn Around Ugly Old Maid Game” video, which clocked up over two million views since it was uploaded in November last year. Strangely, that video hasn’t been removed from their channel, probably because it featured more “bijin” women, which meant that the men were seen heaping praise on the ladies for their looks, rather than calling them out as “ugly old maids”.

Their latest video, however, which was taken down by the YouTubers on 21 October after being uploaded on 16 October, was deemed so appalling that it caused an outcry in Japan, with viewers leaving a stream of negative comments in response to the clip. It also attracted the attention of local media, with morning TV programs showing scenes from the video while questioning their behaviour.

Viewers were appalled, taking to Twitter to express their disgust over the group’s antics.

“Hey, is this meant to be entertaining? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? Hekitora. You walk around the city, suddenly tap on women’s shoulders, and make a big fuss, calling them ugly to their face. Girls’ hearts are being hollowed out by this. How would you feel if the parents of these girls see this? Think about it for once. I’m waiting to hear your views.”

Other comments included:

“Do you really think you have the right to judge someone on their appearance when you walk around with green hair?”
“It’s low to earn money by making a video that’s hurting others.”
“It’s sad to see people mistaking bullying for humour.”
“I watched the clip and it was just awful. No respect for women whatsoever.”
“It’s not only the YouTubers in the wrong here; it’s the people who are laughing at thie video thinking it’s funny as well.”

With 1.5 million subscribers to their channel, a number of Hekitora House videos have racked up more than two million views, and some of their fans have actually come out in defence of the group, saying it amounts to little more than an amusing prank.

The vast majority of viewers, however, have been appalled by the clip and the group’s actions, resulting in the clip being taken down. Here’s hoping the group will reconsider their pranks in future and think twice before bothering women on the street again.

Source: Niconico News
Featured image: Twitter/@kut_ikgy