Tik-Tok Users & K-Pop Fans Prank Trump Tulsa Rally Organizers
President Donald Trump‘s Saturday night rally at 19,000-seat Tulsa arena had lower attendance than expected. Tik Tok teenagers and K-pop fans took partial credit, saying they booked arena spots as a prank without intending to show up.
Trump tweeted last week that “Almost One Million people requested tickets for the Saturday Night Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma!” Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, also tweeted on Monday that they received more than a million RSVPs to the MAGA rally.
The BOK 19,000-seat arena, however, was partially empty, especially at the upper rows. There were plans to hold speeches outside but the campaign canceled the events, bragging the “overflow” of attendees that in fact didn’t show up.
Tik-Tok users and K-pop fans claim they registered for hundreds of thousands of empty seats as a prank. As the Trump campaign urged attendees to register for free tickets, the pranksters users started posting, spreading the idea of a trolling campaign and sabotage the Trump rally.
Mary Jo Laupp, a 51-year-old Tik-Tok user from Fort Dodge, Iowa, also encouraged her 1,000 followers to register for the rally and not show up.
“All of those of us that want to see this 19,000 seat auditorium barely filled or completely empty go reserve tickets now and leave him standing alone there on the stage,” Laupp said in her Tik-Tok video.
The post then claimed more than 700,000 likes. Laupp told the New York Times she thinks at least 17,000 seats were registered as a result of the Tik-Tok post.
Other users began posting similar ideas, taking part in a flash mob all over Tik-Tok and Twitter. Tik-Tokkers urged K-pop fans to join spreading awareness on Twitter, as the Korean Pop fans have been known for a high social media activity.
Some social media users deleted their posts after 24 to 48 hours to keep the plans undiscovered.
Former Republican strategist Trump critic, Steve Schmidt, commented on the trend, saying thousands of U.S. teenagers RSVP’d for the empty seats. He said his 16-year-old daughter and her friends had signed up for “hundreds” of tickets.
My 16 year old daughter and her friends in Park City Utah have hundreds of tickets. You have been rolled by America’s teens. @realDonaldTrump you have been failed by your team. You have been deserted by your faithful. No one likes to root for the losing team. @ProjectLincoln https://t.co/VM5elZ57Qp
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) June 20, 2020
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) also reacted to the low-turnout in a tweet, celebrating teenagers for pranking the MAGA campaign.
Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok who flooded the Trump campaign w/ fake ticket reservations & tricked you into believing a million people wanted your white supremacist open mic enough to pack an arena during COVID
Shout out to Zoomers. Y’all make me so proud. ☺️ https://t.co/jGrp5bSZ9T
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 21, 2020
The campaign management denies the involvement of Tik-Tokkers and K-Pop fans, blaming the low-turnout on the anti-racism protesters that allegedly blocked the rally-goers from getting in.
Senior Trump campaign aide Mercedes Schlapp told Fox News Sunday that “there were factors involved, like they were concerned about the protesters who were coming in. There were protesters who blocked the (attendees).”
The Tulsa rally plans received criticism amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Last week, Oklahoma had a record high of new confirmed cases.
Six Trump campaign members have tested positive for COVID-19 themselves and have been in quarantine.