A TikTok video showing a woman confronting a tattoo artist who sexually harassed her has gone viral, and now the business that employs the artist has let him go.
TikTok user Ellie was in Newtown for the first time and went to King Street Tattoo to celebrate turning 18 with a tattoo. Joined by a friend, Ellie was looking through the tattoo books when a woman she didn’t know approached her.
Ellie was wearing a skirt and the woman noticed one of the business’ employees bending down to take a photo up Ellie’s skirt. When Ellie learned what he had done, she pulled out her phone and confronted the man, recording the entire conversation.
Ellie and her friend confronted the man, demanding him to show them the photo and delete it.
“Why did you take that!?” one of them says in the TikTok. “That’s so inappropriate. HOW is that appropriate?”
The man’s excuse for his wretched behavior? “It was pretty funny.”
No. The Cinnamon Toast Shrimp saga was “pretty funny.” This is a personal violation.
“I thought, men get away with a lot of stuff so why should he get away with this?” Ellie told Junkee on why she chose to confront Simon Stelein, the 40-year-old tattoo artist.
As the video went viral on TikTok and making the rounds on other platforms like Reddit.
Unfortunately, the original video was taken down for bullying and harassment (uh, OK) but a second one was uploaded.
Despite taking the tattoo artist to court for his actions, Ellie recently learned he was still employed at King Street Tattoo. That’s when she decided to deploy the video.
It turns out, some public internet shaming is much more effective than the court system. Within 24 hours of the video going viral, King Street Tattoo fired Strelein, who had been employed by the business since 2010.
The tattoo parlor posted an Instagram image, apologizing for not taking action sooner over the past 24 hours.
Uh, y’all. You haven’t taken action in TWO YEARS.
The apology is way late, and Instagram users were quick to point it out.
Many users pointed out how the business cultivated a toxic culture and did not hold any employees accountable for encouraging Strelein and his actions.
“At the end of the day, it’s still sexual harassment whether it was a joke or in a sexual manner,” Ellie said. “A grown man shouldn’t be taking pictures up a young girl’s skirt.”