'I noticed there was a blank wall at McDonald's': UH student, friend unleash viral stunt

By Sophia Beausoleil - Reporter

HOUSTON - Two friends created a poster and hung it at their favorite McDonald's to have people who look like them on the wall. 

“We looked around and we saw there were no Asians in the posters around McDonald's, so we decided to do it ourselves, and I guess the rest is history,” said Jehv Maravilla, a 21-year-old University of Houston student. 

Maravilla and his friend Christian Toledo, 25, are both Filipino-Americans. 

The two said they eat at the McDonald's at 2803 Business Center Drive often. They saw a blank wall in June and decided it was the perfect place to put a picture of themselves. 

“Asian representation in media is not as prevalent as it should be,” Maravilla said. “What motivated me was ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ the movie that came out, that boosted my confidence into thinking maybe one day I could be just like that, and if I take a step and do something small like this, it could make a difference.”

After he and Toledo came up with the idea in June, they went to work. They held a photo shoot using a timer to take a picture of the two of them eating McDonald's. 

They documented the entire process on YouTube. The video even showed how they edited the picture to look like the others in the store.

"That's why we created the circles, we tried to get the same color palette and tried to make the printing really good as well,” Toledo said.

They split the $80 to buy the poster from Office Depot, and once it arrived, they took the steps to buy a McDonald's uniform. 

“I went to Goodwill and they had one for $7,” Toledo said.

They put the poster up on July 13.  No one has noticed it, and it’s been on the wall for 52 days. 

"The goal is to not make anyone notice,” Toledo said. 

That all changed when Maravilla tweeted about it on Sunday. It’s now gone viral and has been retweeted more than 100,000 times. 

"I hope this can open the eyes of McDonald's and their corporation to show more people like me, Asians, in there,” Maravilla said. 

The McDonald’s franchisee released the following statement: 

“We take pride in highlighting diversity in every aspect of our restaurants. We applaud these students’ creativity and hope to see them in our restaurants again soon.”

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