CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A video of a homeless man in Charlotte being told to do pushups for $20 went viral.
Rapper Meek Mill reportedly posted the video on his Instagram page during CIAA weekend, and quickly received heavy backlash.
“Meek Mill makes me ill,” one person tweeted. “Making a homeless man do 20 pushups for $20 when he’s earning millions, absolutely disgusting.”
With hundreds of thousands of shares, tweets and posts, the video is not hard to find.
But for many, it is hard to watch.
“I didn’t really want to do it but I did it anyway because I was hungry,” Bill Whitton, the man in the video, told NBC Charlotte reporter Savannah Levins.
Whitton has Parkinson’s disease and liver cancer. He says he was trying hard not to think about the fact that he was being recorded.
For Whitton, who lives in a tent, all he wanted at the time was dinner.
“Anybody who thinks they can’t be homeless real quick, I’ve got news for them,” Whitton said. “You can be homeless real fast.”
Enter Charlotte resident Dhyani Neidelman, who found Bill and took him under her wing.
“That’s how I was raised if someone needs help and you can help you help,” she said.
She bought Bill a new tent, new clothes, and they talk every day.
She still hasn’t seen the video.
“I refuse,” Neidelman said. “I would start crying, I can’t do it. I have no desire to see somebody treat somebody else like that.”
Bill says he was embarrassed at the time but is okay now. Sometimes, the greatest friends are found in our darkest hours.
“It made me feel really good because no one’s ever done something like that for me,” he said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Neidelman to help Whitton get back on his feet.