“I never thought it would go viral, people making fun of me.”
Recently, a Twitter user posted a video of a man shaving on an outbound train from New York City to New Jersey. The video, captioned “Welcome to NJ TRANSIT!!!,” received over 2 million views and the man in the video was roundly ridiculed.
The Twitter user later posted another photo of the man, now clean-shaven, holding a beer.
The man in the video, Anthony Torres, 56, reached out to the Associated Press to let the public know they were mocking a man trying to salvage an ounce of dignity.
“My life is all screwed up. That’s the reason I was shaving on the train,” he said. “I don’t want to say that I’m homeless, let everybody know,” he said. “That’s why I was shaving.”
Torres had just left a homeless shelter after receiving money for a train ticket from his brother. He was traveling to see another brother in southern New Jersey.
A man who was mocked in a viral video shares his story. He was mocked online after he was recorded shaving at his seat on a commuter train. https://t.co/AS6SdhKDd7 #viralvideo pic.twitter.com/HtWfmCqNUw— Air1 News (@air1news) September 18, 2018\n
Torres has lived a tough life. He grew up poor on a farm and has worked a number of low-paying jobs. He has also spent time sleeping on bus depots and motels. He has also suffered health problems of recent, including two strokes.
“For so many years, he’s lived this way and I feel sorry for him. It’s hard to see the life that he’s lived,” his brother, Thomas Torres, told the Associated Press.
After learning the video had gone viral, Anthony Torres was upset. “I never thought it would go viral, people making fun of me,” he said.
While Torres may have been mocked by countless people online, over 500 have pitched in to lend a hand. A GoFundMe page was set up by Jordan Uhl to help him “get back on his feet.” The campaign started with a goal of $15,000 and reached over $13,000 in just 15 hours.
At the campaign’s conclusion, Uhl has pledged to turn the money over to Anthony Torres’ brother.