By: Ellen Cans
Danny Wolverton, a former “America’s Got Talent” contestant, has gone viral again as New York City’s ‘mole man’.
The 36-year-old, known for his levitation act on ‘AGT’, found an oversized sinkhole near his Bed-Stuy home, while taking a stroll around the neighborhood over the summer. As reported by the NY Post, he is using the roughly 8-by-5-by-3-foot hole to make a splash on social media. The opportunist began filming himself in the hole wearing a mole mask or other costume to garner millions of views on TikTok.
Wolverton, whose AGT act as ‘Special Head’ was viewed over 48 million times on YouTube, told the Post, “Reality is stranger than fiction. This life has endless possibilities, whatever can happen will happen”. He added, “If there’s a hole in your neighborhood, someone’s going to have the idea to go down there.” Videos of “Bogdan The American” and Heather Morowitz leaving the hole went viral, getting more than 3.8 million views on TikTok.
But some neighbors and residents have complained that his act is setting an unsafe example for kids who want to be like him. “[You’re] making a bigger hole where we already have a problem,” yelled one woman. “No it is not [the parents’ responsibility], it’s your responsibility as a community member to leave this alone. … You come to our block to exacerbate an already existing problem for your own benefit.”
An NYPD spokesperson confirmed having received “several” complaints about people “crawling into the void” in the sidewalk. A Rep from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Environmental Protection also told the Post that they received complaints, and said they will visit the site to find a “permanent” solution. A DOT spokesperson said the agency “strongly” discourages anyone from crawling into the hole — “moleman or not.”
Wolverton defended himself, telling the Post that he never disclosed the address of the hole on social media. Moreover, he said that he thinks the attention from the videos may get the city to “fill in the hole faster.” Wolverton plans to continue his antics with the hole. He said he is currently working on a short film which hints to gentrification and housing issues. “So [with] my decision to keep doing [the videos], I was listening to the source of joy rather than the source of ‘uptight’ and ‘we’re going to tell you what to do,” he said.
Following complaints on Thursday, the police came to the site and placed a traffic cone into the hole.