Filipino students behind McDonald’s poster prank call for better representation, diversity in entertainment

YouTuber and University of Houston senior Jevh Maravilla pulled off what people are calling an impressive prank on McDonald’s.

21-year-old Jevh Maravilla said he was frustrated by the lack of Asian representation in media — so he and his friend Christian Toledo created a poster of themselves enjoying some McDonald’s, and sneakily hung the poster on the wall at one of the fast food chain’s locations in Pearland, Texas.

“The whole process took us about a month because we had to plan out where we were going to shoot the location, how big the poster needs to be, so we measured out the wall, without them knowing.”

The fake poster looked so much like some of the brand’s real posters in its restaurants that it fooled the staff and customers alike.

Months after hanging up the photo, they returned to the fast food restaurant and noticed it was still there. They posted a tweet about the prank, which has since gone viral.

Behind me is the McDonalds where the picture was hung. Christian and Jevh, having gained national attention, are now being recognized everywhere they go in Houston.

Jevh and Christian even caught the attention of celebrity talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who featured them on her show. She surprised both students with a $25,000 check from McDonald’s.

Ellen also shared they would be featured in an upcoming marketing campaign for the hamburger chain.

Jevh and Christian say they want to spend the money wisely, and hope that the experience will open doors towards their future dreams.

“Hopefully in the next few years, I can make it out there in Hollywood, to inspire and entertain others in the use of TV and film.”

“My background is in arts management and film, that is how we met. Probably the same, here or in the Philippines, to work in film or maybe even TV.”

The comments on their YouTube page range from calling the prank an act of vandalism, to an inspirational way of promoting diversity.

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