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Influencer Audrey Peters is facing intense scrutiny online after offering an unpaid internship to her followers.
According to a TikTok calling out the New York-based internet personality, who boasts more than 213,000 followers on TikTok, Peters not only posted an ad for an unpaid intern, but also asked her followers for money on Instagram Live while streaming “[from] a luxury building.”
“Audrey Peters was asking for money from her followers … on live while living in a luxury building with luxury furniture, luxury clothes, shoes and bags,” the TikTok noted. “Now she’s requesting an unpaid intern. This is not ethical on so many levels. Stop supporting rich gentrifiers so they can become more rich.”
The TikTok then shared a screenshot of the listing for the unpaid internship. The ad, which specifically specifies that the internship is “unpaid,” seeks a NYC-based current college student or recent graduate with “photography skills.” Ideally, this unpaid intern will also own their own professional camera.
“This is not okay,” the anonymous user who uploaded the TikTok about Peters’ unpaid internship listing wrote. “Stop manipulating young followers into thinking this behavior is right.”
Many people agreed with this sentiment in the comments.
“She is so pretentious,” one person said. “Glad you made this so people know this BS.”
“She is the definition of rich white girl gentrifying the city,” another user added.
“So pretentious and snobby,” a third person commented.
In response to the backlash, Peters posted an apology video addressing the unpaid internship listing.
“So yesterday I posted about how I was hiring an unpaid intern. In the past tons of my followers have reached out to me expressing how they would love to intern for me even if it wasn’t paid,” she explained.
“I have done many unpaid internships and apprenticeships and I found them incredibly helpful,” she continued. “In fact, I would not be where I am today in my career if it was not for those unpaid internships. But I had absolutely no idea that they weren’t ethical or legal … I didn’t think twice to look into the ethics of it, which was really, really wrong. Labor absolutely should be paid for.”
Peters also noted that she recognized that dropping her Venmo handle during an Instagram Live was “inappropriate.”
“That is completely inappropriate and I am so, so sorry,” she said. “I don’t want any of my followers to think that I am scamming them or anyone on TikTok. None of this was cute and I am sorry.”
Though some of Peters’ more devout fans were quick to forgive her, many people think that her apology was simply reactionary.
“[You’re] still pretentious,” one person commented.
“Your entire humor is based off classism let’s not forget that,” another user added.
“How did you ‘not know’ [unpaid internships] weren’t ethical … this is embarrassing,” a third person said.
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