Fact Check

Does This Video Show a Black Friday Fight Over Vegetable Steamers?

Video of a Black Friday fight over vegetable steamers that culminated in a woman's snatching one from a child was possibly staged.

Published Nov. 27, 2015

An video shows a woman "stealing" an item from a child shopper on Black Friday.

On 26 November 2015, YouTube user BlackFriday Fight uploaded a video ("lady steals from KID! black friday 2015") and comments as shown below:

lady steals from KID! black friday 2015

Im posting anonymous because I don want 2b fired, but I work at this store in saginaw and this lady stole a veggie steamer from a KID on black friday! Shame.

According to the uploader (who conveniently wished to remain anonymous) the footage was captured at an unnamed retail location in Saginaw, Michigan on Black Friday. The video was uploaded on 26 November 2015 (one day prior to Black Friday, which fell on 27 November 2015), but could conceivably have depicted a midnight "doorbuster" sale scenario.

The clip depicts a crowd of shoppers descending upon a stack of what appear to be vegetable steamers, which (while possibly attractively priced) weren't on par with Cabbage Patch Kids or Furbys in the genre of "Christmas crazes." We searched for major chain store deals on vegetable steamers in 2015, but were unable to locate any incredible deals matching vegetable steaming gadgets in any big box stores.

As commenters immediately pointed out, the short clip itself featured a number of indicators it was staged. In addition to plausibility (even most vegans have not nearly that much interest in acquiring a vegetable steamer) the "victims" in the clip were first spotted in a frame away from the fracas, walking into the area of the frenzy carrying identical boxes.

The clip opened with a rush of shoppers, all of whom appeared to fall to the ground in a dramatic and entirely unnecessary fashion:

black friday fight fake

The woman whose child was targeted by the box-snatcher didn't appear to enter with other customers, instead appearing far off in a visible aisle already carrying the boxes:

black friday fights fake

Finally, the purported altercation in which the woman swiped a vegetable steamer box from the hands of a small child occurred while several boxes remained unclaimed nearby. Both shoppers were just inches from the uncontested vegetable steamers, providing no reason for a heartless shopper to target a small child.

The circumstances under which the clip was shot have yet to be disclosed, but its early appearance and implausible events suggest the video was staged for attention or a larger prank. (Users across social media commenting on the video widely suspected late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, but no evidence suggested the clip was his work.)

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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