The crowd was stunned when an old groom and a 12-year-old bride stepped out of a Bentley at noon in Times Square in New York City to have their wedding pictures taken.
The 65-year-old groom saw the shock and anger in the spectators’ eyes and rushed to explain: “I have her family’s consent,” he shouted, rather cynically. Some members of the crowd were even ready to attack the man.
However, the man soon explained that this was part of a social experiment. Its purpose was to make people aware of a law that exists in many countries — even some states of the U.S. — where a man can marry an underage girl if he has her family’s consent. It was essentially a criticism of the inhuman law.
The pretend groom was Chrysanthos Petsilas, a Greek man who was director of the Hellenic Tourism Organization office in New York.
“It was a play in which I accepted to participate with pleasure. It was a very important social message the producer wanted to pass. I applied for the role, and it should be stressed that the girl is the child of a family of famous actors,” Petsilas said.
The producer is Coby Persin who explains that child marriage is not only legal in 91 countries around the world, but even continues to be legal in the United States — with some having a cut off as low as 12 years of age.
Persin presents a shocking statistic about child marriage: how 33,000 girls are married as children every day and stripped of their childhood.
The video of the fake marriage has gone viral as it has over 7.5 million views on youtube already.