Vice President Kamala Harris was already being heckled for her ultra-effusive appearance in a YouTube children’s video about NASA, and then word spread Monday that the kids involved were child actors.
The YouTube Originals Kids & Family episode posted Thursday features Ms. Harris gushing about outer space and offering life advice in a conversation with five exceptionally poised and well-spoken young teens at the White House.
“You guys are going to see, you’re going to literally see the craters on the moon with your own eyes! With your own eyes!” said Ms. Harris, pointing to her eyes. “I’m telling you, it is going to be unbelievable. So that’s one of the things we can do here, too, which makes it so exciting.”
The social media reviews were ruthless, calling her performance “cringeworthy” and mocking her “fake enthusiasm,” but the ridicule ramped up a notch Monday after some of the kids let it slip that they were professional performers.
In a Sunday interview on KSBW-TV in Monterey, California, 13-year-old Trevor Bernardino said that he auditioned for the role by sending in a monologue video and interviewing with the director of production.
“Then after that, like a week later, my agent called me and was like ‘Hey, Trevor, you booked it,’” the teen said.
Zhoriel Tapo, a 12-year-old represented by the New Orleans-based talent agency Krewe Collective, tweeted Thursday about her appearance and linked to a photo of Ms. Harris with the five kids. Another actor, Derrick Brooks II, shared the video on his Instagram page, which also features posts about his appearance in a recent movie.
On Monday, Mediaite picked up on Mr. Bernardino’s interview, and Trevor’s father Carlo Bernardino told the Washington Examiner that all five of the kids shown in the episode entitled “Get Curious with Vice President Harris” were actors.
As far as Michigan state Rep. Andrew Fink was concerned, that explained a lot.
“Finally makes sense why the kids *acted* normal when Harris was talking to them like they were kindergarteners,” tweeted Mr. Fink, a Republican.
Power the Future founder Daniel Turner tweeted that “she has fake kids and fake enthusiasm in her fake video.”
The special, produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment in Toronto, also featured NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough from the international space station.