Woman who filmed viral 'Kidz Bop Karen' video speaks out after road rage incident
Chelsea Klein, 29, told In The Know that the woman at the center of the viral video — which has launched hundreds of spinoff memes on Twitter and TikTok — found her on Instagram and began harassing her after Klein's video of a heated conflict between the pair was shared on Barstool Sports.
"She said that I look 30 pounds lighter in my pictures and that my complexion is not good and that I should walk around with [Instagram] filters on me at all times," Klein said of "Karen," whose actual identity has not been revealed.
The ordeal first began on Friday when Klein was in the backseat of a Lyft traveling down New York City's West Side Highway on her way home from work. While Klein was distracted by her cellphone, her driver purportedly cut off a vehicle belonging to — you guessed it — "Kidz Bop Karen" and her family, including a man believed to be her husband and the pair's children.
"Karen" gave Klein the middle finger from her own vehicle and, unsure of whether her rideshare driver actually cut off the other vehicle, Klein says she gave her a thumbs up in response.
The benign gesture prompted "Karen" to get out of her vehicle and verbally berate Klein's rideshare driver through the open passenger-side window.
Klein then asked the woman to "calm down," which is when she turned her attention toward the back seat and began her wide-eyed rant.
In the video, which Klein filmed and shared on her personal Instagram story, "Karen" can be seen leaning through the window of the Lyft and yelling at the driver and passenger, even after the Lyft operator apologizes and accepts blame for the incident.
"She thinks it's cute that her driver almost hit my kids, and she thinks she needs to take a video of it instead of apologizing like a sane human," the woman says of Klein.
"So stopping in the middle of the road is going to help?" Klein replies.
"You being a b**** is gonna help? "I don't know? Calm down! Calm down!" the angry woman shoots back while making a pawing gesture with one of her hands.
Despite additional apologies from the driver, "Karen" refuses to back down, unleashing further expletives on the duo.
"It is your fault. And you know, that didn't upset me," she says. "But the b*** a****** that told me to calm down? What I'd like you to do is apologize instead of being a b****."
When Klein points out that the woman's kids could hear her foul language and suggests she try to "set an example," the woman becomes enraged.
"My kids can't hear me calling you a b****. They can't head me because they're listening to Kidz Bop," she says, in one of the most famous lines from the exchange. "Your attitude sucks d***."
Klein told In The Know her decision to start videotaping the incident came not out of amusement, but in fear that the exchange could have taken a violent turn.
"You never know what's going to happen, the world is a scary place," Klein said. "I wanted to make sure if something happened, I had it on camera."
Although "Karen's" family members have reached out on social media to offer apologies on her behalf, Klein said that the angry mom has only contacted her over email to request she receives a portion of any royalties generated by the video — which, Klein assured, is a grand total of $0.
The petrified Lyft passenger also added that the company itself has remained largely unhelpful in wake of the incident, revealing it answered her complaint with an autoresponse and credited her back $7 for the ride.
Despite the ordeal, Klein said she reassured her Lyft driver that she didn't plan to let "Kidz Bop Karen" wreck his personal rating.
"I said, 'Don't worry, there are crazy people in this world,'" Klein recalled. "I'm still going to give you 5 stars.'"
"He might have cut her off, but verbal abuse is unacceptable," she added.