DudeFoods.com blogger Nick Chipman, whose recent $141.33 McDonald’s stunt received quite a bit of attention, pulled a questionable move in his latest blog post titled “Homeless Person Vodka Reviews.” Chipman asked a Milwaukee homeless man -- who he assumes has some extensive alcohol knowledge, “because honestly, who knows more about drinking than homeless people, right?” he says -- to drink and review some vodka samples with him. In return, he pays the man $20 for offering his supposed vodka expertise.
The post prompted some heavy debate on Facebook, as many commenters accused him of exploiting the homeless man, to which Chipman responded, “Last week when I spent $141 at McDonald's people were complaining that I should have given that money to the homeless. This time I spent some time with a homeless guy and even paid him $20 for his troubles and you're still mad?”
So we asked Chipman for a comment. He offered us this:
“Why would you consider this exploitative? Because a homeless gentleman was paid for his time to hang out and review some vodka with me? Had I held a gun to his head and made him drink it then, yeah, definitely exploitative, but he made a conscious decision to hang out and have a couple drinks with me and we both had a great time. He could have just as easily said ‘no thanks,’ and I wouldn't have done it. How is it any different than me having any other person review vodka? It isn't unless you just automatically assume that any homeless person must be an alcoholic and is incapable of making decisions for himself, and if that's the case you should probably explore why it is that you think that way.”