Hot tub scene in Boogie Nights

To some degree, I feel sorry for people who get catfished.* It presumably sucks to find out the person you’re forming an emotional connection with over the Internet is, in fact, lying to you about one, if not all, facets of his or her life. But at the same time, we must grow with technology and accept the consequences when we utilize it for something…well, stupid. Really stupid. Like Criminal Minds/Dharma & Greg actor Thomas Gibson sending awkward videos of himself shirtless in a hot tub to a female he “met” over the Internet, which would be hilarious except they’re just really sad.

“Nobody wanted to come with me.” :(

sad snape GIF

And then I realized he has a wife and kids and this is pretty messed up. According to TMZ, it kind of sounds like every other dude-got-catfished story, only with a celebrity and a catfish who sold/gave the vids to TMZ:

Here’s the full story: a woman contacted Gibson on Twitter roughly two years ago, using a photo of a scantily clad woman, and told Gibson she was a huge fan. Gibson took the bait.
The woman — who refused to tell us her age or name — is from North Dakota. She says she carried on a 2-year relationship with Gibson (who’s married) exchanging multiple explicit photos and video with him, using images she stole from various pornographic websites (including

He did this for two years. Again, I would feel sorry for him…but he’s got a wife and three kids, whom he seems to refer to in the video.

There are many, many reasons not to send videos of yourself in a hot tub to strangers over the Internet, but here are the top 10:

  1. You have no idea who this person is. He or she could be exactly the person you think they are or, perhaps more likely, a 56-year-old troll who introduces himself as Ace and uses acronyms IRL and is posting your videos on a Reddit board right now.
  2. Less likely, but still possible: this person could be related to you. In the event you are talking exclusively in text, neither of you will realize this until one receives a Jacuzzi vid and notices you are cousins and nothing will ever be the same.
  3. You will drop your phone. The video will never get to anybody anyway, sure, but who the hell brings his phone in a hot tub?
  4. Your fingers will be gross and pruned; is that how you want your catfish to see you?
  5. If you are famous, this will — yes, will — go poorly for you. Remember:
  6. If you are not famous, it can still go poorly for you because the Internet cannot be trusted for any reason. I’m not even saying your friend or e-friend or whomever will leak them; I’m saying the actual Internet itself isn’t some secure place where all your information is exclusively seen by two people and can be guarded perfectly at all times.
  7. Unless you are fictional character Dirk Diggler, you do not look cool in a hot tub. Being lit from below makes you look like you’re telling a f’ing ghost story the whole time.
  8. You may actually be talking to a cat, sans the -fish.
  9. Hot tubs are disgusting cesspools of human filth.
  10. If you have a family, they will never want to go near the hot tub again once your vid leaks. Good job. That $5000 cesspool is now rendered useless.

In conclusion: FFS, why didn’t you just take naked mirror selfies and post them on Instagram like everybody else does?

*For anyone who doesn’t know, this is when a person talks to somebody over the Internet or phone for a while, often forming some sort of emotional or even e-sexual relationship with the other party without ever meeting him or her. Eventually, the first person (hopefully) finds out the latter is utilizing someone else’s photos, videos and even personal information. It is so named because of the stupid, in-all-likelihood-faked documentary Catfish.

Photo: Boogie Nights (1997).