This documentary is about one of the first known victims of cat hunting struggles objectively.
On September 12, 2012, Manti Teo, one of the most promising players in college American football, gained national attention when his girlfriend Lenny and his grandmother passed away on the same day. However, it was later revealed that his girlfriend was not actually around. Te’o has fallen victim to social media hunting. It was a story that gripped the United States and even overshadowed the horrific doping scandal of Lance Armstrong.
The two-part documentary Unspeakable: The girlfriend who didn’t exist He delves into this story by doing a lengthy interview with Te’o, as well as his family and friends, and the reporters who broke the scandal in 2013. But most importantly, they also talk to the person who cheated on Te’o: Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who has since emerged as a transgender Now she bears the first name Naya.
The first episode focuses entirely on how Te’o and Tuiasosopo met and kept in touch online, as well as their views on how their relationship might develop. As the interviews delve into her past, it becomes clear with no doubt that Te’o is the victim of this situation. Tuiasosopo’s deception went so far as to pretend to be relatives of the late Lennay and in this capacity he spoke to the Te’o family about the loss. Toyasosobo’s photo doesn’t say anything, even though it admits it all.
Episode two focuses on the people debunking the deception: sports blog writers Deadspin, Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey. It is suggested that Te’o may have been involved in formatting the story to get media attention or he may have been attracted to men and this was a way to cover it up. If so, his plan backfired. Te’o has gone from being a media darling to one of America’s most ridiculous athletes, spawning funny pictures and even a skit in Saturday Night Live.
Despite the insightful interviews and the organized way the entire story was plotted, the documentary fails to answer many questions. She also tries to evoke sympathy for Toyasusobo, which creates a distorted image because she has gone to great lengths to conceal her true identity.
It’s upsetting that the story of Toyasusobo, who says she’s always felt like a woman on the inside and says she feels better than ever after being introduced to her as a trans woman, is being used as a way to elicit sympathy. This ignores the fact that, for whatever reason, some form of identity fraud has been committed.
It doesn’t explain why Toyasosobo was never charged with a crime, nor does it go into detail about how Teo’s life and career ultimately turned out. While the documentary offers insight into the true story and the questionable way the media has handled it, the way the viewer sympathizes with Toyasusobo is a poor attempt to remain impartial.
Unspeakable: The girlfriend who didn’t exist can be seen in Netflix.
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