How 'Hawk Tuah girl' Haliey Welch exposes perils of sudden stardom (2024)

The 'Hawk Tuah girl' is a stark example of the dangers posed by the 'content creator world' where anyone is just a moment away from going viral, experts warned today.

Haliey Welch was filmed on a Nashville street last month by content creators Tim & Dee TV who asked: 'What's one move in bed that makes a man go crazy every time?'

She answered: 'You gotta give 'em that 'hawk tuah' and spit on that thang' – and the clip has now been viewed three million times on YouTube in just a fortnight.

Miss Welch, 21, initially isolated herself in rural Tennessee where she lives with her family, as relatives tried to build a wall around her to shield her from the publicity.

But she has now quit her job at a spring factory, co-launched a merchandise range and employed a manager as she attempts to cash in on her unexpected fame.

After being hailed the 'queen of the internet', Miss Welch also revealed she had received 'revolting' offers' from fans with one offering $600 (£480) to spit in a jar.

PR expert Andy Barr, chief executive of the agency 10 Yetis, told MailOnline that the 'Hawk Tuah girl' situation is a classic example of how 'we all live in a content creator world and this is something everyone now needs to remember and be cautious of'.

Haliey Welch was filmed on a Nashville street last month by content creators Tim & Dee TV who asked: 'What's one move in bed that makes a man go crazy every time?' She answered: 'You gotta give 'em that 'hawk tuah' and spit on that thang' – and the clip has since gone viral

The Tim & Dee TV clip has now been viewed three million times on YouTube in just a fortnight

He continued: 'Social media-based 'journalism' is creating new internet celebrities every single day and it reinforces the importance of people thinking a little more before they speak.

'We all live in a content creator world'

By ANDY BARR

We all live in a content creator world and this is something everyone now needs to remember and be cautious of.

Social media-based 'journalism' is creating new internet celebrities every single day and it reinforces the importance of people thinking a little more before they speak.

You now need to channel your inner PR person and think about if what you are saying is something that you want following you around for the majority, if not all, of your life.

The amazingly funny Hawk Tuah lady is a prime example. She now has Hollywood talent agencies and merchandising brands queuing up to get her signed because of that one single phrase.

In her recent interviews she rather naively says that she doesn't want to be known for life as the 'Hawk Tuah Girl', but that has now stuck and she will struggle to shake the nickname.

Individuals now need to think like a Hollywood A-lister or big brand in their every interaction with a camera-wielding content creator. If they don't, they do risk being known globally for something they may regret and facing the kind of sinister scrutiny and intrusion into their life that they may not be ready for.

ANDY BARR is chief executive of the PR agency 10 Yetis

<!- - ad: https://mads.dailymail.co.uk/v8/us/news/none/article/other/mpu_factbox.html?id=mpu_factbox_1 - ->

Advertisem*nt

'You now need to channel your inner PR person and think about if what you are saying is something that you want following you around for the majority, if not all, of your life.'

He added that Miss Welch was 'amazingly funny' and a 'prime example' of this, where she now has 'Hollywood talent agencies and merchandising brands queuing up to get her signed because of that one single phrase'.

But Mr Barr continued: 'In her recent interviews she rather naively says that she doesn't want to be known for life as the 'Hawk Tuah Girl', but that has now stuck and she will struggle to shake the nickname.

'Individuals now need to think like a Hollywood A-lister or big brand in their every interaction with a camera-wielding content creator.

'If they don't, they do risk being known globally for something they may regret and facing the kind of sinister scrutiny and intrusion into their life that they may not be ready for.'

Brand and culture expert Nick Ede told MailOnline that the case of Miss Welch was an example of how the 'speed that someone can go from zero to celebrity is lightning fast now due to social media and uploading content from your phone'.

He said moments quickly viral and then become memes due to there being so many platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and X which have 'created social media celebrities in a split second'.

Mr Ede continued: 'The issue with this can be that the people who have become instant smashes have no one around them to sense-check what they say, no one around them to help with their consent to use their image etc and no one has warned them that this may happen.

'These moments are off the cuff but they can have terrible implications post posting, whether it's Hawk Tuah girl and people pretending to be her, or stars who get fired because of their behaviour captured for the world to see.

'The dangers of social media are out there and someone's innocent fun night out can make their lives a living nightmare. Celebrity and infamy are part of our everyday life but if you are not prepared for it, it can cause lots of issues, from family feuds to money making fraud.

Haliey Welch (right) sat down with Brianna LaPaglia on the Plan Bri Uncut podcast yesterday

Haliey Welch spoke about her experiences yesterday on the Plan Bri Uncut podcast

Haliey Welch appears with Chelsea Bradford (right), who was identified as her friend in the clip

Since going viral Haliey Welch has partnered with Jason Poteete, owner of Tennessee-based apparel firm Fathead Threads, to release hats saying: 'Hawk Tuah '24 – Spit On That Thang.

'It's all there for the world to see and many stars have been exposed as the spotlight shines on them.'

'If you are not prepared for celebrity and infamy, it can cause lots of issues'

The speed that someone can go from zero to celebrity is lightening fast now due to social media and uploading content from your phone.

We have seen moments go viral that have become memes and due to so many media outlets like Instagram, TikTok and X which have created social media celebrities in a split second.

The issue with this can be that the people who have become instant smashes have no one around them to sense check what they say, no one around them to help with their consent to use their image etc and no one has warned them that this may happen.

These moments are off the cuff but they can have terrible implications post posting, Whether it's Hawk Tuah girl and people pretending to be her or stars who get fired because of their behaviour captured for the world to see, the dangers of social media are out there and someone's innocent fun night out can make their lives a living nightmare.

Celebrity and infamy are part of our everyday life but if you are not prepared for it it can cause lots of issues, from family feuds to money making fraud. It's all there for the world to see and many stars have been exposed as the spotlight shines on them like the Ashley Madison couple Sam and Nia who were exposed.

This kind of instant fame can bring in a lot of money but unless you are savvy and have a good management it can go as quickly as it came and you will live your life endlessly known for being a meme and that can ultimately be very damaging for you.

Like in the early days of big brother when the stars didn't understand their instant fame there is a lot of money to be made and people have to be careful who they trust when pursuing stardom for money.

Ultimately celebrity now is so fast and furious that there is only a golden window for these types of stars as there's another viral moment coming up to bite them each and evert day so they either have to capitalise on it, stay relevant or just go back into obscurity and get on with their everyday lives.

NICK EDE is a brand and culture expert

<!- - ad: https://mads.dailymail.co.uk/v8/us/news/none/article/other/mpu_factbox.html?id=mpu_factbox_2 - ->

Advertisem*nt

He cited Sam and Nia Rader, a Christian couple who rose to fame with their online videos before Sam was exposed in the 2015 hack of Ashley Madison, the dating site for people seeking adulterous affairs.The couple have since featured in the Netflix documentary 'Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies and Scandal'.

Mr Ede said: 'This kind of instant fame can bring in a lot of money but unless you are savvy and have a good management it can go as quickly as it came and you will live your life endlessly known for being a meme and that can ultimately be very damaging for you.

'Like in the early days of Big Brother when the stars didn't understand their instant fame, there is a lot of money to be made and people have to be careful who they trust when pursuing stardom for money.

'Ultimately celebrity now is so fast and furious that there is only a golden window for these types of stars as there's another viral moment coming up to bite them each and every day - so they either have to capitalise on it, stay relevant or just go back into obscurity and get on with their everyday lives.'

Another PR expert Sean O'Meara, managing director of Manchester-based agency Essential Content, told MailOnline that 'everyone and everything has the potential to become viral content nowadays'.

He said: 'There's a fun side to it, where the subject is consenting and - even better - gets to make a few quid out of their 15 minutes like Haliey.

'But there's a major, and underappreciated downside to the content culture we're all participating in.

'As a society, we appear to have completely forgotten what privacy means. It comes down to consent. Haliey was up for it, said something funny, and is now having a surreal brush with fame.

'Not everyone - and I very much include myself in this camp - wants to be part of it. But we don't always have the choice.'

He pointed out that some people 'have been filmed without consent in their most troubled and darkest moments and had their lives ruined'.

Mr O'Meara cited the case of Maureen Bowco*ck, a mother battling depression who was found dead at home in Oldham, Greater Manchester, in 2018 three weeks after a video posted online showed her arguing with her boyfriend on a bus.

An inquest later heard the 40-year-old had started drinking heavily after the clip went viral because of her concerns over the potential impact on her four children.

Mr O'Meara continued: 'Of course, some people bring it on themselves by volunteering information or opinions on social media or by acting outrageously in public.'

He pointed out that musician John Roderick, better known as 'Bean dad', was a good example of the former after his tweet thread about refusing to help his daughter open a can of beans 'essentially ruined his life'.

Mr O'Meara said: 'I have some sympathy, but I also think when you share everything on social media, you need to be prepared for the discomfort of people judging you for being weird.'

Haliey Welch spoke to Brianna LaPaglia after joining the podcaster's boyfriend, country singer Zach Bryan (pictured), on stage at a concert at the Nissan Stadiumin Nashville, Tennessee

Shaquille O'Neal has been spotted alongside the new internet sensation 'Hawk Tuah' girl

Chelsea Bradford (left) has been identified as the friend standing next to Miss Welch in the clip

He added: 'While it's not illegal to film someone in public, I do think a lot of the content that gets shared stems from incidents that could be described as harassment.'

'Always assume someone could be filming'

By SEAN O'MEARA

Everyone and everything has the potential to become viral content nowadays. There's a fun side to it, where the subject is consenting and - even better - gets to make a few quid out of their fifteen minutes like Haliey.

But there's a major, and underappreciated downside to the content culture we're all participating in. As a society, we appear to have completely forgotten what privacy means. It comes down to consent. Haliey was up for it, said something funny, and is now having a surreal brush with fame.

Not everyone - and I very much include myself in this camp - wants to be part of it. But we don't always have the choice.

There have been other cases where people have been filmed without consent in their most troubled and darkest moments and had their lives ruined, and in some cases people have taken their own lives due to being filmed in public.

Of course, some people bring it on themselves by volunteering information or opinions on social media or by acting outrageously in public. 'Bean dad' is a good example of the former. His tweet thread about refusing to help his daughter open a can of beans essentially ruined his life. I have some sympathy, but I also think when you share everything on social media, you need to be prepared for the discomfort of people judging you for being weird.

While it's not illegal to film someone in public, I do think a lot of the content that gets shared stems from incidents that could be described as harassment. I once challenged someone on a train for filming a man who'd fallen asleep. That person then spent the next five minutes filming me, which was extremely uncomfortable. My overriding thought in that moment was 'don't do or say anything you wouldn't want a magistrate to hear about'. In that moment, I was glad I work in public relations, because I understood the consequences of reacting.

It's a sad state of affairs, but my approach when out and about is always to assume someone could be filming.

SEAN O'MEARA is managing director of the PR agency Essential Content

<!- - ad: https://mads.dailymail.co.uk/v8/us/news/none/article/other/mpu_factbox.html?id=mpu_factbox_3 - ->

Advertisem*nt

Speaking about his own experiences, he said: 'I once challenged someone on a train for filming a man who'd fallen asleep. That person then spent the next five minutes filming me, which was extremely uncomfortable.

'My overriding thought in that moment was 'don't do or say anything you wouldn't want a magistrate to hear about'. In that moment, I was glad I work in public relations, because I understood the consequences of reacting.

'It's a sad state of affairs, but my approach when out and about is always to assume someone could be filming.'

Jack Izzard, chief executive of Rhizome Media Group, also spoke about the 'Hawk Tuah' craze.

He told MailOnline: 'Where once it was only celebrities who lived in fear of having their every indiscretion captured by the paparazzi, these days all of us are just one silly comment or pratfall away from becoming a meme.

'While Gen Xs can count themselves lucky that smartphones weren't around when they were younger and sillier, the prospect of sudden, unwanted fame is real for digital natives who've grown up knowing that everything they do could potentially be recorded and sent around the world in minutes.

'Those who find themselves at the eye of a social media storm typically go into hiding until it all blows over, or embrace their surprise fame and try to turn it to their advantage. Haliey Welch, who until recently was working in a factory in rural Tennessee, has done both.'

He added that feeling like a laughing stock can cause 'crushing embarrassment and even shame', so Miss Welch had done the right thing by 'taking control of the narrative and doing a media interview on her terms'.

Mr Izzard also said: 'Viral fame - whether it's welcome or unwelcome - rarely lasts, and her decision to lean into it is a bold and potentially lucrative one.'

Miss Welch talked about her experiences for the first time yesterday as she spoke to podcaster Brianna LaPaglia on her Barstool Sports show Plan Bri Uncut.

When asked what her parents thought of the comment, Miss Welch replied: 'They think it's so funny... they never know what's gonna come out of my mouth.'

Since going viral Miss Welch has partnered with Jason Poteete, owner of a Tennessee-based apparel company called Fathead Threads, to release hats saying: 'Hawk Tuah '24 – Spit On That Thang.'

And she said: 'So, the guy that does my hats, he got offered $600 three days ago for me to spit in a jar and sell it. That is revolting! That is just disgusting, is it not?'

She also expressed her frustration at social media users 'spelling my name wrong' – which is 'Haliey', not 'Hailey' - and making accounts with her photos on.

Miss Welch insisted she deleted all of her social media six months ago for personal reasons - long before becoming an internet sensation.

She added: 'It's kind of creepy seeing your face on another account that don't belong to you.'

Hundreds of memes followed, the phrase was yelled out by a fan as 2024US Open golf champion Bryson DeChambeau hit a tee shot at the LIV event in Nashville.

A photograph posted on Instagram ofHaliey Welch meeting one of her fans in Nashville

Gymnast Olivia Dunne, basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal and mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor are also among those to have got involved with the craze.

Read MoreBREAKING NEWS Hawk Tuah girl Haliey Welch FINALLY breaks her silence after viral video rocketed her to fame

Miss Welch joined LaPaglia, also known as 'Brianna Chickenfry,' after sharing the stage with LaPaglia's country singer boyfriend Zach Bryan at the Nashville Nissan Stadium.

In the wide-ranging interview, Miss Welch confirmed she had been out drinking that evening but that her vulgar comment was intended as a joke and that she 'didn't mean anything by it'.

She also explained that she never expected to see the clip again after it was filmed.

Miss Welch said: 'I think he posted the full video on YouTube this past Sunday but he only told us he was a YouTuber, he never said anything about you know Instagram, TikTok, nothing of the sort. So I was like 'oh well I'm never going to see this again but sure enough I seen it again.'

She described her surprise at seeing the video had got a million views but added she assumed it would not 'get any bigger' than that.

A New Orleans paper also went viral for making a hilarious reference to the 'Hawk Tuah' craze

'Then I go back like an hour later and the views done went up like a million and I was like 'Oh my God, there is no way that just happened,' Miss Welch added.

Read More Zach Bryan brings the 'Hawk Tuah' girl onstage in Nashville

LaPaglia then asked Miss Welch how she felt about being known as the 'Hawk Tuah girl', something Miss Welch said she does not want to be called for the rest of her life.

Miss Welch also debunked rumuors about where she and her family worked – including that she was a school teacher who was then fired after the video came out, and her father was a preacher.

She said: 'I worked in a spring factory, I'm not a schoolteacher. My father is so far from a preacher, it's crazy.'

Miss Welch said that after she became famous she quit her job and now plans on travelling to 'be on a show and be on a bunch of podcasts and everything else in between.'

'There's more to come, don't worry,' she added. She also said: 'The people that are out here hatin', I don't even know 'em. So, what the f**k do I care?'

From 'Crazy Plane Lady' to the 'Oilers girl' who bared her breasts, the women who shot to fame after mortifying moments went viral... but did THEY get the last laugh?

None of them could have predicted how quickly they would be thrust into the limelight after their mortifying moments went viral.

But a clique of 'internet queens' is emerging of women who whipped up a storm when their actions were caught on camera and shared widely online.

They include the 'Crazy Plane Lady' who had an epic meltdown on a plane and the 'Oilers girl' who flashed her breasts during an NHL ice hockey match.

Yet despite the embarrassing nature of their viral fame, are they having the last laugh?MailOnline takes a look at the women who became overnight sensations this year - and how they cashed in on their five minutes of fame:

'Crazy Plane Lady'

Tiffany Gomas, also known as 'The Crazy Plane Lady,' stopped an American Airlines flight from taking off after having meltdown, after accusing a passenger she claimed stole her AirPods.

Standing in the aisle with her $2,000 handbag hanging off her arm, Ms Gomas shouted in front of the plane full of passengers: 'But I am telling you, right now, that motherf***** back there is not real.'

The bizarre incident was documented in the DFW Airport Department of Public Safety obtained by Dallas News, and she was banned from flying on the airline.

Tiffany Gomas, 39, also known as 'The Crazy Plane Lady,'who stopped an American Airlines flight taking off after accusing a passenger of stealing her AirPods in July 2023

Tiffany Gomashas appeared on several podcasts since the incident on the plane

She later apologized for her behaviour describing it as not her 'best moment' and saying she was a 'brat'. But she became a viral sensation racking up more than 450million views.

Life for the 39-year-old real estate developer has been looking a lot rosier, one year on from her public outburst. Hersocial media profile has grown with more than137,000 followers on Instagram and close to 300,000 on Twitter.

She has appeared on several podcasts, and is in talks with with the CyberSmile Foundation that focuses on cyberbullying and online abuse.

The finance bro girl

For Megan Boni, also known as Girl on the Couch, life became a whirlwind after the 26-year-old created a TikTok videosinging the song 'Looking for a Man in Finance,'which became an instant hit.

The satirical song is making fun of girls who complain about being single but have a huge list of needs.

'I'm looking for a man... finance... trust fund ... 6ft. 5 inch...blue eyes. I'm looking for a man ... looking for man ...' she repeats all while making funny facial expressions.

Megan Boni said she quit her job and now has a music deal with Universal

The Penn State graduate and Philadelphia native who lives in New York was working in a sales and marketing job before her newfound fame.

She quit her job and now has amusic deal with Universal Music Group NV, tellingPhiladelphia Magazinethat 'the 10-second song pays me more than my full-time job would pay me in a year.'

Ms Boni teamed up with DJ David Guetta for a remix of her song, and has signed with United Talent Agency, according to her Instagram.

She's been working with some brands including Tinder who she said paid her 'handsomely for 15 seconds' of her in a hoodie, and someunderwear firms.

'Oilers girl'

Kait putting on a pair of hockey skates was featured in Playboy magazine this month

The 'Oilers girl,' real name Kait, flashed her breasts to a camera during Game 5 oftheWestern Conference Final in the NHL hat saw Edmonton Oilers play against the Dallas Stars.

Since she flashed the raucous crowd at Rogers Place, she became an instant celebrity but kept her identity a mystery - even deleting her social media account.

But she recently broke her silence in an interview with the Barstool Sports podcast Spittin' Chiclets.

She was unapologetic while addressing her rise to fame on social media, saying: 'I just wanted to say you can be the most perfect, godly f***ing person in the world, you can save kittens from a river if they were drowning - someone is still going to hate you.

'So, you know what? At the end of the day, I got drunk and whipped my t**s out at an Oilers game and they went viral.F*** you if you don't like it. Woo! Go Oilers.'

The outspoken NHL fan joinedforces with Playboy after refusing massive deals from p*rn sites.Playboy shared the announcement on Instagram: 'Meet Kait, the Oilers good luck charm.'

Bhad Bhadie

Bhad Bhabi, real name Danielle Bregoli, 21, is a rapper and social media influencer

Danielle Bregoli, 21, is now better known as Bhad Bhabie after she rose to fame at age 13 during her viral appearance on Dr. Phil in 2016.

In the segment she coined her signature catchphrase: 'Cash me outside. How bout dat?' that became one of the biggest memes.

The Dr. Phil episode was titled: 'I Want to Give Up My Car-Stealing, Knife-Wielding, Twerking 13-Year-Old Daughter Who Tried to Frame Me for a Crime.'

She quickly gained a social media following and appeared in the music video 'Everything 1K' and was nominated in the 'Trending' category at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards for her catchphrase.

Bregoli, who is from Florida, and grew up with a single mother, amassed her current fortune from her rap and social media career,paid social endorsem*nts and OnlyFans. She wasone of the highest-earning celebrities, netting $50 million during her first yea, on the subscription social platform.

In March she had her first child, a daughter, with boyfriend Le Vaughn.

How 'Hawk Tuah girl' Haliey Welch exposes perils of sudden stardom (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Duncan Muller

Last Updated:

Views: 6368

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Duncan Muller

Birthday: 1997-01-13

Address: Apt. 505 914 Phillip Crossroad, O'Konborough, NV 62411

Phone: +8555305800947

Job: Construction Agent

Hobby: Shopping, Table tennis, Snowboarding, Rafting, Motor sports, Homebrewing, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Duncan Muller, I am a enchanting, good, gentle, modern, tasty, nice, elegant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.