Creative Activism

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Here’s a Chilling Thought

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters

He has confided that he dreams of being added to Mount Rushmore. Maybe this will have to do…


Environmentalist group wants to carve Trump’s face in glacier
by Max Jaeger
New York Post
May 1, 2018

They want to melt the president in effigy.

A Finnish group is raising money to carve President Trump’s face into a glacier and then live stream it as it thaws — all to raise awareness about global warming.

Watch the Project Trumpmore official trailer:

“There are still people who ponder whether it’s (global warming) a real issue. We want to build the monument for all of us, so we can see how long the sculpture lasts before melting,” Nicolas Prieto of the Melting Ice association said in a statement.

“Often people only believe something when they see it with their own eyes.”

The group — which calls the project “Trumpmore” in a nod to Mount Rushmore — is trying to raise just south of $500,000 to create the 115-foot-tall carving, which would have roughly the same dimensions as the sculptures adorning Rushmore.

Melting Ice thinks the actual construction would take a team of Finnish and Mongolian sculptors about four weeks to complete. Then they aim to train a live stream on the carving to watch it melt. (more…)

Culture Jamming Godfather Gets a Fitting Tribute

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, First Amendment Issues, Legal Issues, Media Literacy, Media Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, The History of Pranks, The Prank as Art

In 1981, Don Joyce launched Over the Edge, a weekly program on KPFA in Berkeley comprised of cut-up tapes and surrealist social commentary. By the time he passed in 2015, he had been a core member of the legendary avant-garde rock band Negativland, engaged in numerous high-profile intellectual property controversies (including tangles with Pepsi and U2), helped popularize the plunderphonics movement (which intersected with hip-hop and helped define internet culture), and coined the phrase “culture jamming.”

A new documentary takes a thoughtful and haunting look at this bold, brilliant, and stubborn creative force.


An Affectionate and Honest Filmic Portrait of Negativland’s Don Joyce
By Paul Riismandel
Radio Survivor
April 8, 2018

Musician, DJ and radio artist Don Joyce passed away nearly three years ago, on July 22, 2015. He left behind a voluminous archive of his KPFA radio program “Over the Edge,” which took off in new, chaotic and creative directions when he welcomed the participation of the experimental band Negativland in 1981, then joining the group.

The documentary “How Radio Isn’t Done” (DVD) sheds light on Joyce and his life, work and his process for recontextualizing the never-ending flow of media messages that flood everyday life. Director Ryan Worsley paints an affectionate, but honest portrait of a man who poured tremendous quantities of inspiration, energy and effort into his community radio program, leaving the impression that it was something he just had to do. Read more.

Better Call Mike

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Parody, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, Satire

Fake subway ads promoting the services offered by President Trump’s fixer, attorney Michael Cohen, have appeared in New York City subways. The anonymous force behind the ads, website and telephone message you receive when you call the phone number on the ad is interviewed in the Village Voice.


Meet the Creator of the Fake Michael Cohen Subway Ad
by Neil Demause
Village Voice
April 20, 2018

Dirty deeds, done for a reasonable retainer

Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images

This week, subway riders may have been surprised during their morning commutes to see a Dr. Zizmor–esque ad for another now-familiar face: “Michael Cohen, Attorney-at-Law. Got Problems? Call ‘The Fixer,’ ” the ad copy reads, above a checklist of services rendered — “Hush Payments, Physical Threats, Pay Off Porn Stars, Playboy Bunnies” — and the smarmily grinning face of Donald Trump’s embattled lawyer.

The ad — which, needless to say, was placed on trains without the knowledge or permission of the MTA — went a step further, though, by including a phone number that leads to a similarly deadpan voicemail message (“Press 3 if you are the president of the United States”), as well as a URL for a website advertising his skill set and office hours. (Apparently the fake Cohen is happy to “commit treason if it means helping a client” but doesn’t work weekends.)

The Voice, in what is apparently going to be an ongoing series of interviews with New Yorkers insistent on joining the daily subway-ad-strip dialogue, tracked down the anonymous Cohen impersonator for a brief email interrogation: Read the full interview here.

TV News Pranks Lead to Litigation

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Legal Issues, Media Literacy, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Prank News, Pranksters

It’s 2018, and TV news is apparently more relevant and dangerous than ever. Learn more about our old pals Chop and Steele with the Vice News team.


“Meet the Comedy Duo Who Got Sued for Pranking the News”
By Oliver Noble and Brandon Lisy
Vice News
March 22, 2018

When they infiltrated three morning news programs by passing themselves off as a hilariously unathletic strongman duo, Brooklyn comedians Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett were not the first people to prank TV News.

Left-leaning activists The Yes Men famously infiltrated BBC, and right-wing provocateur James O’Keefe unsuccessfully attempted to plant a false story in the Washington Post. But Prueher and Pickett, who run the Found Footage Festival, have no overt political agenda and are happy to simply interrupt news programming with the absurd or profane.

Out of embarrassment or pragmatism, media companies generally avoid legal retaliation after getting pranked. Yet when Prueher and Pickett pranked Gray Television, the company sued, kicking off a battle over free speech, comedy, and how easy it can be get past TV bookers. Read more.

Trump Military Parade Kicks Off NYC’s 33rd Annual April Fools’ Day Parade

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters

No need to spend tens of millions for Trump’s Military Parade. The 33rd Annual April Fools’ Day Parade just did it and it was a “huuuuge” success! Thank you Vladimir and Kim for coming. Even Stormy stepped out with us. Thanks to all the staging and marching troops!

Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump at Trump’s Military Parade, April 1, 2018. Joey Skaggs Archive

Trump’s Military Parade begins, April 1, 2018. Joey Skaggs Archive

Trump and friends at Trump’s Military Parade, April 1, 2018. Joey Skaggs Archive

The entire parade takes a knee at Trump Tower during Trump’s Military Parade, April 1, 2018. Joey Skaggs Archive

The crowd swells with pride at Trump’s Military Parade, April 1, 2018. Joey Skaggs Archive

No Trump Military Parade would be complete without Stormy Daniels there to spank President Trump with his magazine. Joey Skaggs Archive

More photos by Erik R, McGregor here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm9iB7Hd

April Fools’ Day 2018: Stunt Roundup

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Filed under: All About Pranks, Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Media Literacy, Parody, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Prank News, Pranksters, Publicity Stunts, Satire, The History of Pranks, The World of the Prank

The smirking array of pranks, stunts, and fake marketing drives has become a predictable April Fool’s Day rite. Our finest brands and capital-C Creative Teams use this opportunity to trot out wacky ideas and to attempt to out-clever each other in a quest for attention.

You can set your sundial by it, but that’s no reason, in itself, to complain. Plenty of brand-based April Fool’s japes are entertaining, and a few pack genuinely subversive elements.

Sunday finds the virtual prank parade already in progress. The clowns have been rolling out all week, in acknowledgement of the holiday schedule, and probably as part of a phenomenon similar to Christmas Creep, in which April Fool’s Day threatens to slowly engulf more and more of the year.

There are few unique challenges against which this year’s festival of cleverness must contend. April Fool’s Day falls on a Sunday, and on the Easter holiday, widely observed in nations where influential marketers and media entities are based. It also falls against a background characterized by extreme distrust and hostility toward advertisers, Silicon Valley tech giants, and a political climate in which the US presidential administration’s most favored PR approach resembles gaslighting. Increasingly, the media treat April Fool’s brand stunts with outward cynicism and exhaustion.

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica controversy that is grinding away at Facebook, tech brands face a tough room this year. Google, in particular, has always embraced cheeky self-awareness in its pranks, a winking sense of, “everyone seems to think we’re going to control the world someday – and wouldn’t it be kind of neat if we did?” This year’s battery of GOOG yuks, including a “bad joke detector” and an API for different varieties of hummus, acknowledges the inherent absurdity of Google’s algorithmic, data-driven approach to world domination. Google’s work is state-of-the-art in terms of creative skill, but it feels at least few weeks behind the times.

In the Scott Dikkers taxonomy of jokes, irony and parody are hard to make stick in 2018. Gentle absurdity, wordplay, and “madcap” humor may be an easier plan.

Coinciding with Easter Sunday may make it harder to nab eyeballs, but some brands are using it to their advantage. The Chocolate Whopper is one of many gags that draws ridiculous associations with holiday sweets. Following up the success of the emoji car horn, one of the most charming 2017 stunts, Honda returns with another winning exercise in pure silliness. One tech company simply gave a crapload of money to people who need it, which may be the most heartwarming and unorthodox 4/1 tactic on record.

In the non-commercial realm, artists and social critics are addressing the elephant in the room, head on. From anonymous Craigslist pranksters to our own head honcho Joey Skaggs and his annual April Fool’s Day parade, there’s plenty of puckish and ambitious parody directed at Trump and his inherently ridiculous milieu.

Arguably, the best thing that can come from the widespread crisis in confidence that is 2018 is a greater premium on critical thinking and the importance of placing our relentless and exhausting news cycle in its broader context.

As usual, Atlas Obscura does rigorous yet unpretentious work putting curiosities and absurdities against the backdrop of history, in an entertaining and approachable fashion. All week, it has showcased examples of old-school irreverence, from bird dung to a theoretical cactus, as a reminder that high-profile pranks have always been with us, and their spirit is always worth preserving and celebrating. (Thanks to Dr. Bob O’Keefe for the tip on this one.)

Join the Trumps’ Military Procession, April 1, 59th & 5th Ave NYC

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Political Pranks

President Trump wants you to spend tens of millions of dollars for his narcissistic, self-aggrandizing and unnecessary military parade. We can do it for a whole lot less.

Join our army of irreverent pranksters for a satirical April Fools’ Day Parade on April 1, 2018 at noon (sharp) at 59th Street and 5th Avenue in NYC. Print your trump mask or we’ll have one for you, and bring your military toys, tanks, helicopters and dolls. We’ll march two blocks to Trump Tower where the whole parade will take a knee. Click for details.

Trump’s Military Parade Extravaganza Set for April 1, 2018

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, Satire

Event Alert!
New York City’s 33rd Annual April Fools’ Day Parade &
2nd Annual Trumpathon!
“TAKE A KNEE!”

If you’re in New York City on Sunday, April 1, 2018, join the April Fools’ Day Trump Military Parade and show the world how grandiose and out of touch America’s leader really is.

Bring your artillery! All military toys, tanks, planes, helicopters and GI Joe soldiers are needed. Help us amass the largest assembly of military might the world has ever seen for President Donald Trump’s tremendous and amazing Military Parade.

All marching personnel will have Donald Trump look-like masks and will march from 5th Ave. and 59th St. to Trump Tower to take a knee. Download and print a Trump mask here. If you can’t print a mask, we’ll have one for you.

Please spread the word! @artoftheprank

WHAT:
New York’s irreverent April Fools’ Day Parade returns, poking fun once again at the past year’s displays of hype, hypocrisy, deceit, bigotry, and downright foolishness. Nothing is sacred. Our satire knows no bounds. The parade this year will be a massive \”TRUMP MILIARY PARADE\” celebrating our president’s greatest fixation — himself.

The public is encouraged to participate, in or out of costume, with or without floats, and may join the procession at any point along the parade route. Floats can be no wider than 10′ and no longer than 30′. They can be self-propelled, towed, pushed or pulled. Customized bicycles, tricycles, baby carriages and aerial balloons are welcome. The parade will start at 59th St. and Fifth Ave. at 12 noon, and will pass by Trump Tower at 12:15 pm where everyone will take a knee. The Parade Committee assumes no liability for damages caused by satire.

WHY:
The New York April Fools’ Day Parade was created in 1986 to remedy a glaring omission in the long list of New York’s ethnic and holiday parades. These events fail to recognize the importance of April 1st, the day designated to commemorate the folly of mankind. In an attempt to bridge this gap and bring people back in touch with their inherent foolishness, the parade annually crowns a King or Queen of Fools from parading look-alikes.

WHEN/WHERE:
Sunday, April 1, from 12 noon – 3 pm

  • Parade begins at 5th Avenue & 59th Street and marches down 5th Avenue to Washington Square Park
  • There will be one stop at Trump Tower at 5th Avenue between 57th and 56th Street where the entire parade will take a knee
  • FULL PRESS RELEASE: http://aprilfoolsdayparade.com

    FACEBOOK EVENT: Please share on Facebook

    TWITTER: @artoftheprank

    FOR MORE INFORMATION:
    Joey Skaggs, April Fools’ Day Parade Committee Chair
    Phone: 212-254-7878
    info@joeyskaggs.com

    Banksy Immortalizes Painting That Caused Artist Zehra Dogan’s Arrest & Imprisonment in Turkey

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    Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters

    Banksy’s new mural in collaboration with Borf, aka John Tsombikos, brings jailed Turkish artist Zehra Dogan’s work to New York.


    New Banksy NYC mural supports jailed Turkish artist
    by Janon Fisher
    New York Daily News
    March 17, 2018

    The mysterious British graffiti artist Banksy created a 70-foot mural on the Houston Bowery Graffiti Wall showing Turkish artist Zehra Dogan trapped behind hashmarks. (FRANK FRANKLIN II/AP)

    Mysterious British graffiti artist Banksy can\”™t stay away from the Big Apple.

    After tagging the clock face on a West Village bank, he moved east Thursday, with a sidewalk to rooftop display drawing attention to the plight of a jailed artist.

    The 70-foot mural on the Houston Bowery Graffiti Wall shows Turkish artist Zehra Dogan trapped behind a set of hashmarks meant to symbolize her prison bars.

    Dogan was sentenced to nearly three years in jail for painting a the town of Nasybin laid waste by the Turkish after a battle with Kurdish forces.

    She copied the photo from a newspaper then painted it in watercolor, adding Turkish flags to the scene, according to her publicist.

    Dogan was arrested after she posted the image on social media.

    The timing of the mural marks the one year anniversary of her incarceration.

    Her watercolor stretches out across the top of the building where Banksy has painted his mural.

    \”I really feel for her. I\”™ve painted things much more worthy of a custodial sentence,\” Banksy told The New York Times in a statement.

    7,000 Pairs of Shoes is 7,000 Too Many

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, First Amendment Issues, Political Challenges, Prank News

    A powerful display of empty shoes on Capitol Lawn remembers the thousands of children killed by gun violence in America in recent years. #NotOneMore


    7,000 Pairs Of Shoes On Capitol Lawn Are Powerful Nod To Gun Violence
    by Willa Frej
    Huffington Post
    March 14, 2018

    They are meant to represent the number of children killed in shootings since Sandy Hook.

    With the epicenter of policymaking looming large in the background, activists on Tuesday placed 7,000 pairs of empty shoes across the Capitol lawn, an impossible-to-ignore symbol of the children lost to gun violence since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

    Families who have lost children to shootings were invited to contribute their kids’ shoes, said global advocacy group Avaaz, which organized the event.

    “I’ll be traveling to D.C. literally wearing my son Daniel’s shoes, the ones he wore the day he died at Columbine,” said Tom Mauser, whose son was killed in the Columbine mass shooting. “I think this kind of event with shoes offers a very powerful metaphor both for how we miss the victims who once filled those shoes, and also for how we see ourselves wanting to walk in their place, seeking change, so that others don’t have to walk this painful journey.”

    People across the country, including celebrities, donated shoes to the display, which Avaaz said covered more than 10,000 square feet of grounds outside the Capitol. Several Democratic lawmakers visited the site, taking the opportunity to call out congressional inaction on gun reform.

    According to CNN, Avaaz took the 7,000 figure from a 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics report, which found that almost 1,300 children die from gunshot wounds in the U.S. every year.

    Tom Mauser lost his son Daniel at Columbine. He’s at the Capitol today to say #NotOneMore. Read more

    Harvey’s Casting Couch Immortalized

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    Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Prank News, Pranksters

    Artists Plastic Jesus and Joshua “Ginger” Monroe bring the Hollywood casting couch out of the shadows, just in time for the Oscars.


    Gold Harvey Weinstein Casting Couch Appears Near Oscars Venue
    by Emmet McDermott
    Hollywood Reporter
    March 1, 2018

    The piece is the work of Plastic Jesus and Joshua “Ginger” Monroe, the artist behind the infamous naked Donald Trump statues.

    A robe-swaddled Harvey Weinstein statue, sitting arms spread on a golden chaise lounge urging pedestrians to sit beside him, appeared in Hollywood on Thursday days before the 90th Academy Awards ceremony.

    The sculpture, located on Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, is a collaboration between street artists Plastic Jesus, best known for his annual Oscar season installations that take aim at the dark side of show business, and Joshua “Ginger” Monroe, the artist behind the infamous naked Donald Trump statues.

    The piece was intentionally crafted to allow passersby to sit beside Weinstein and take photos with him. Clenched in Weinstein’s right hand is an Oscar statue, strategically placed near his groin.

    “For many years the exploitation of many hopefuls and established names in the industry was brushed under the carpet with their complaints of harassment and sexual abuse being ignored or worse,” Plastic Jesus tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Hopefully, now in the light of recent allegations against many leading figures in Hollywood the industry will clean up its act.”

    Plastic Jesus does not give his name but has said that he is a former London photojournalist who moved to L.A. many years ago to explore installation art as a way to tackle sociopolitical issues. His works include last year’s Kanye West crucifixion sculpture, on which he also collaborated with Ginger, and 2015’s coke-snorting Oscar statue. Ginger is a Las Vegas-based artist. His naked Donald Trump statues were installed across multiple cities in 2016.

    According to the artists, the life-size Weinstein sculpture took two months to produce. A casting was initially taken from a friend of the artists, and Ginger subsequently molded the face to match Weinstein’s. (more…)

    Sailor J Shares Her Suggestions on What You Can Do With Your Thoughts and Prayers…

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Political Pranks

    Sailor J Demonstrates Her New “Thoughts and Prayers” Makeup Line


    Read more at Allure

    Watch the T & P Makeup Look video here:

    h/t BoingBoing

    What the World Needs Now… Crying Therapy

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Fact or Fiction?, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction

    Stress reduction via The Handsome Man…


    Japanese women pay handsome man to make them cry, then dry their tears
    BoingBoing
    January 23, 2018

    Here’s a short National Geographic video about a crying therapy service. Women pay a “handsome man” to make them cry, then gently wipe their tears away. The practiced is said to relieve stress.

    Entrepreneur Hiroki Terai … is the founder of a group crying service that encourages people to cry together while a \”handsome weeping boy\” wipes their tears away. Known as rui-katsu or ‘tear-seeking,\”™ the practice is especially popular with women and is said to relieve stress levels. In Crying with the Handsome Man, filmmaker Darryl Thoms explores this unusual practice and why its founder believes it is bringing people together.

    Announcing NYC’s 33rd Annual April Fools’ Day Parade

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Prank News

    Come one, come all and help make this the largest military parade ever!


    The New York April Fools’ Committee Is Proud to Announce:

    NEW YORK CITY’S 33rd ANNUAL APRIL FOOLS’ DAY PARADE

    “TAKE A KNEE!”

    New York\”™s irreverent April Fools\”™ Day Parade poking fun at the past year\”™s displays of hype, hypocrisy, deceit, bigotry, and downright foolishness, returns! For the 33rd year, participants will bring outrageous floats and dress up in colorful costumes to mirror the folly of the nuttiest politicians, corporate leaders, celebrities and whoever else has proved to be a total fool in the past year. If it rains, marchers are encouraged to decorate umbrellas with slogans or images so their messages can be seen by people looking out their windows from above. Nothing is sacred. Our satire knows no bounds.

    The theme for this year\”™s parade is \”TAKE A KNEE!\” The parade will begin at 5th Avenue and 59th Street at 12 noon, Sunday, April 1, 2018. The procession will march down 5th Avenue, pause at Trump Tower at 56th Street and 5th where participants will, in spirit with Colin Kaepernick, \”take a knee\” in solidarity against police abuse. It will then proceed downtown to Washington Square Park for the climactic crowning of the King of Fools.

    Last year\”™s April Fools\”™ Day Parade \”Trumpathon\”\””the world\”™s largest gathering of masked Donald Trump look-alikes was so successful that organizers vowed to repeat it. Get your Donald Trump look-alike mask here. Print it, cut it out and wear it to the parade: http://aprilfoolsdayparade.com/trumpmask.pdf. The parade committee will have hundreds of extra masks on hand in case you need one. We\”™re going for a new world record for the largest assembly of Donald Trump look-alikes. Please tweet @artoftheprank and invite all your friends to this Second Annual Trumpathon! (more…)

    Speaking of Artificial Intelligence…

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Political Challenges, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters

    Friendly foes seek world peace at the Olympics but are shown the door instead.


    \”˜Trump\”™ And \”˜Kim\”™ Thrown Out Of Opening Ceremony
    Reuters
    February 10, 2018

    \”We wanted to surprise everyone and bring world peace and then we\”™re being escorted out by security guards, which I think is really unfair.\”

    PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 09: Impersonators of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un pose during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

    PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) – People dressed up as U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un caused a commotion when they appeared in the stands at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on Friday before swiftly being shown out by security staff.

    \”We\”™re getting along great,\” said the Kim lookalike, who declined to give his name.

    \”We wanted to surprise everyone and bring world peace and then we\”™re being escorted out by security guards, which I think is really unfair,\” he added. \”Doesn\”™t everyone want peace?\”

    The ceremony was marked by a show of unity between North and South Korea.

    Athletes from both countries entered the arena under a flag depicting a unified Korea as American Vice President Mike Pence and Kim\”™s sister, Kim Yo Jong, watched on from a VIP box.

    \”Is my sister getting the same treatment?,\” the Kim lookalike said as he was escorted out of the stadium.