Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes allegedly confessed to staging his on-air arrest, comedian Owen Benjamin said Wednesday.
“Prank. Don’t tell,” McInnes allegedly texted in a screenshot posted to Benjamin’s Instagram account. “Did you spill the beans? Looks like you did. We’re done,” McInnes texted in another apparent reply to Benjamin.
The alleged confession came days after McInnes, who is known to be a prankster, was reportedly interrupted by law enforcement during a live stream, despite the NYPD and New York City FBI confirming to The Independent that they made no arrest of the extremist.
See the screenshots below.
During McInnes’ live-streaming show last week, he appeared to look off-camera and said, “We’re shooting a show, can we do this another time?”
McInnes then stands up, with his face out of the camera’s view, seeming to listen to someone off-camera. Though one cannot hear the voice on the other side of the camera in the clip, McInnes interjects, saying “I’ll get a lawyer and we will sit down and have a conversation; we’ll schedule a meeting.”
Then, he says “I didn’t let you in,” before fully stepping out of the camera’s view. Not much sound can be made out following McInnes’ move off-camera.
Since the show’s airing, McInnes has not been seen publicly. Former Food Network host Josh Denny, who currently has a show on McInnes’s platform, confirmed the incident last week, writing on Twitter, “Just got off the phone with our people. It’s not a bit.”
However, Benjamin debunked the staged arrest on Instagram, alongside text messages between McInnes and himself in which McInnes reportedly confessed that it was a “prank” and urged Benjamin not to let the word slip.
“Gavin is mad at me for telling people about his ‘prank,’” Benjamin wrote on Instagram. “It’s pretty obvious this was never a joke it was an attention grift at the expense of his listeners and American institutions.”
Although Benjamin was banned on Instagram and Facebook for racist and anti-Semitic comments, Media Matters notes that he has been using a slew of alternative accounts to get around the restriction.