K-Pop fans, TikTok users claim credit for low turnout at Trump Tulsa rally
Swathes of the stadium where Trump held his rally were visibly empty
President Donald Trump was expecting a capacity crowd in Tulsa, Oklahoma for his first campaign rally since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the country.
That capacity crowd, however, failed to materialize as swaths of seats and parts of the main floor at the 19,000-seat BOK Center remained empty.
Turns out, part of the reason for the Trump campaign’s overzealous projections can be blamed on another kind of campaign that started by TikTok users and fans of Korean pop, or K-pop, groups, The New York Times reports.
Brad Parscale, the president’s reelection campaign chairman, touted the fact that 1 million people requested tickets to the MAGA rally. That figure was inflated by K-pop fan Twitter pages that urged their followers to apply for free tickets online and not show up.
TikTok users then followed suit in registering to the event.
Given the low attendance, a planned address by Trump on an outdoor stage for a nonexistent overflow crowd was canceled.
As reported by The USA Today, one TikTok user, Mary Jo Laupp, 51, the self-proclaimed #TikTokGrandma, was one of the first to adopt the tactic. She released a TikTok video expressing her disdain of the president’s decision to hold his rally on Juneteenth at the site of the Black Wall Street massacre.
Laupp called it “a slap to the face of the Black community” in her video. She explained that those who register will get two free tickets per cell phone, and called for viewers to do so to leave the rally sparsely attended.
“I recommend that all of those of us who want to see this 19,000-seat auditorium barely filled or completely empty, go reserve tickets now and leave him standing completely alone on the stage,” Laupp said in her video.
YouTuber Elijah Daniel, 26, stated that many of the participants in the stunt deleted their posts within 48 hours as an effort to keep it a secret.
“The majority of people who made them deleted them after the first day because we didn’t want the Trump campaign to catch wind,” Daniel told the Times.
Official attendance numbers have yet to be disclosed.
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