Controversial TikTok sparks outrage, triggers trauma for MSU students

A TikTok video connecting mental health trauma from a school shooting to nose strips has sparked controversy at Michigan State University.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 6:52 PM EDT|Updated: May. 22, 2023 at 6:54 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State Spartans and other school shooting survivors have been reacting to a TikTok shared over the weekend linking mental health trauma from a mass shooting to nose strips.

“I did not sit on the floor for four hours with my roommates wondering if there was somebody outside with a gun for you to make money off of it,” said Brandy Muz, a senior in the School of Journalism at MSU.

She works at the Student Union where one of three students were killed. Muz said she was at home in her on-campus apartment when tragedy struck.

“And we were held up in my apartment for four hours wondering and not knowing if any of my coworkers were dead or not,” Muz recalled.

It comes out of an effort to normalize conversations about mental health. Biore Skincare has partnered with social media influencers to help reduce the stigma. The company has since apologized but some are still in disbelief, calling the message “insensitive.”

After watching the video posted by a fellow Spartan, Muz posted one of her own – calling the original message disgusting. “The audacity of some people to use this for clout and for money makes me want to barf, vomit, everywhere.”

Three classmates were killed, five were injured, and countless others were traumatized, MSU students are still dealing with the aftermath. And with no trigger warning, they are forced to relive the trauma.

The TikTok video has since been removed from the platform. In a statement posted to their Facebook page, Biore Skincare said that they are committed to continuing their mental health mission but promise to do so in a better way.

“It’s literally only been just over three months since it happened. You still walk around and you still see three crosses are sitting by the Spartan statue,” Muz said. “You still see the tape by the Union where flowers were taped up and posters were taped up. No one can go into Berkey.”

She compared seeing the video to reopening a deep wound.

The social media influencer and recent MSU grad told News 10 that she has chosen not to speak to the media. She said she has released an apology on TikTok saying she did not mean to desensitize the shooting and that she will be smarter in the future.

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