After a video of a Waffle House employee holding a baby while working in the restaurant’s kitchen went viral this week, a woman claiming to be the employee in question came forward to share the tragic backstory behind the clip.
But now TMZ has reported that the story being shared is in fact fake, and appears to be a scam to elicit donations from sympathetic TikTok viewers.
TikTok user @kizzle260 shared the clip last weekend, showing an unidentified woman holding a baby on her hip while she worked — and the video quickly racked up over four million views.
Soon someone claiming to be mother-of-four Tiffany Clark came forward, commenting on the video and telling TMZ that it was her on film — and that she had no choice but to watch her young niece at work that night, since there was no one else who could care for the four-month-old girl due to tragic family circumstances.
She went on to claim that a Waffle House in South Carolina suspended her over the incident, and offered her CashApp ID up to anyone offering donations.
However, upon further investigation, the entire thing appears to have been a scan — and the person coming forward claiming to be the employee isn’t her at all.
On camera: A Waffle House employee was filmed holding a baby while working overnight in the restaurant’s kitchen
The video quickly racked up over four million views, and commenters applauded her for doing the best she could – and offered to help her financially
TikTok user @kizzle260 shared the clip of Clark last weekend, writing: ‘Ain’t know why she got her baby in here smh.’
While some other commenters shamed her as well, those remarks were quickly buried by a wave of support from men and women who were impressed with her multitasking — and noted that she was clearly in a tough position and doing her best.
‘Hella extra respect for her,’ wrote one. ‘U never know somebody’s situation.’
‘Not everyone can afford child care and can’t afford not to work. Welcome to America,’ wrote another.
‘Only think I see wrong is the person who posted this and shaming a mother. You don’t know her situation. I see a STRONG QUEEN!!!’ said one more.
Eventually someone claiming to be Tiffany Clark chimed in, writing that the woman in the clip was her — and she was taking care of her niece Octavia during her shift.
‘It was either I take her or [the Department of Social Services] was, so she was brought to me [at] 2:30 a.m. and I was already at work so I had no choice,’ she wrote.
Someone claiming to be mother-of-four Tiffany Clark came forward, claiming it was her and the video and she was caring for her niece in a tragic family emergency
Speaking to TMZ, she claimed that her brother, Octavia’s father, had recently died, and Octavia’s grandmother had called her asking for help that night after Octavia’s mother was about to be hospitalized for mental illness.
There was no one else to watch the baby, she claimed, so she took her out of necessity and had her for the last hour of her shift.
‘I had no choice,’ she wrote on TikTok. ‘She is the only child of my deceased brother and I wouldn’t lose her in the system.’
She said her boss gave her a one-week suspension, and she hasn’t heard back since.
But TMZ reached out to Waffle House, with a spokesperson telling the outlet that all of these claims are lies.
Waffle House’s VP of Public Relations Njeri Boss said that the company investigated the video and determined that the media portrayals and social media posts are not accurate.’
The person claimed to be Tiffany Clark is not the person in the video, they said — and the actual employee has not identified herself publicly.
The woman offered up her CashApp – but now a spokesperson for Waffle House says that this person is a scammer who is not affiliated with the restaurant
‘While an employee of ours was recorded holding a baby at work, she is not related to that baby in any manner, never identified herself as the person in the TikTok video, never provided a CashApp account to receive any donations, never gave an interview to any media outlet, and never was suspended from her job,’ she said.
The spokesperson for Waffle House also shared what actually happened in the video.
They said that the employee was holding another employee’s baby to settle her down while she cried.
Since the video has gone viral, she has been ‘retrained’ on safety measures.
‘We caution against further dissemination of that false story and the damages that might result, not to mention the help that might give to support an apparent fraud on the public,’ the spokesperson said.