Pushing a girlfriend, figuratively or literally, is never encouraged.
UVU senior Creighton Baird learned this personally as evidenced in his YouTube posting gone viral: “Boyfriend pushes Girlfriend off cliff — Insane Rope Swing.”
Baird and his friends are regular contributors to the popular YouTube channel devinsupertramp, run by BYU grad Devin Graham. During the filming of their most recent viral video, “World’s Most Insane Rope Swing Ever!!! — Canyon Cliff Jump” they captured the behind-the-scenes footage that came to be “Boyfriend pushes Girlfriend off cliff — Insane Rope Swing,” which caused media and viewers from across the nation to speculate.
The video shows Jessica Powell, Baird’s girlfriend of three-and-a-half years harnessed to the rope swing, trying to talk herself into this latest adventure as several members of the group do continuous countdowns for her to jump.
“Jessica has done every jump, climb, canyon and stunt that I have done,” Baird said. “After three days of growing anxious, it was her turn to jump. For the first time ever, she was truly terrified. I asked what I could do to help and she said, ‘If I can’t jump, you might have to push me.'”
To get her to take the plunge, so to speak, Baird did. While he originally walked over to comfort and encourage her, he ended up pushing her off of the edge. As she swung down, she screamed, “I’m breaking up with you!” and the video ended. What many don’t know is the background to, nor the “rest of,” the story.
“Almost an hour later we get what is now titled ‘Boyfriend pushes Girlfriend off cliff,” Baird said. “We never imagined it would go as viral as it did.”
According to Baird, after Jessica Powell made the 30-minute ascent back up a 400-foot vertical static line, the first thing she did was chug a liter of water, eat an entire bag of gummy worms, then give him a bear hug — thanking him for pushing her off.
But that is not seen — leading to viewers’ assumptions about Baird. As a result, according to some websites, Baird has taken Chris Brown’s spot as “America’s most hated boyfriend.” Critics of the video have also referenced the posting in articles focused around abusive boyfriends and even attempted manslaughter.
“I understand that it was good drama and apparently that is all America focuses on anymore, but that’s why we have ‘The Hills’ and ‘The Bachelor,'” Baird said. “The media has adulterated and transformed this bonding experience into something negative. It was never meant to be that way.”
After all the hatred toward Baird, Powell gave only one interview; she spoke to CNN in order to clear her ex-boyfriend’s name.
“We’ve since broken up — not anything to do with the video,” she told CNN. “I have no negative feelings toward Creighton.”
Robert Selfaison has been part of this extreme sports group of friends for several years and has also traveled the world having his own crazy experiences and adventures. Once they’d built connections with other people with similar interests, doors began to open,and new opportunities, such as the rope swing experience, began to arise for the adventurers.
“Creighton is really getting more credit for the stunt than he deserves,” Selfaison said. “It’s not like he designed the rope swing. For us, these adventures are not that difficult. It’s more that we know the right people and are in the right place at the right time. For the most part, other people have already attempted these adventures, and we just recreate them.”