Thanks to MTV, we all know what catfishing is: when someone tricks people on the internet into thinking someone they are not. If you've watched the MTV show Catfish, you may think they have seen the weirdest, most bizarre catfishing stories that exist. Well, buckle up because the catfish story you’re about to read rivals 90s teen movie Never Been Kissed for most outrageous example of someone pretending to be someone they just completely aren’t.
Ryan Schultz is a sportswriter who writes about the Chicago White Sox for several online publications.Or at least until a few days ago, that’s what everyone thought. In the article published on Baseball Prospectus, SB Nation, and RO Baseball and on his Twitter account, he claimed to be Ryan Schultz, a married father of two. But actually, Ryan is not married or a father. Actually, he’s not even named Ryan. Or a man. In fact, the writer Ryan Schultz is a 20 year old woman named Becca Schultz. Becca has been writing articles, interacting with people online, and tweeting as Ryan for the last eight years. Since she was 13 years old.
A few days ago, a woman named Erin who had previously interacted with Ryan tweeted a shocking series of screenshots:
I love the show catfish but I never thought I would end up being Catfished myself. Here is some news about Ryan Sch… https://t.co/uP99A2NhJ5— Channing Tweetum (@Channing Tweetum)1510187247.0
When some of the women came forward with their stories of his harassment, Ryan was fired from the publications he wrote for.But something seemed off. The women noticed that Ryan never appeared in any photos with his wife or children. They also discovered that while Ryan claimed to be working on a degree in pharmacology the school he claimed to attend did not have a pharmacology school. They confronted Ryan and the truth came out: he was really 20 year old Becca.
Lots of people who interacted with Ryan were surprised by his real identity.
I’m absolutely dumbfounded right now. I interacted with the rschultzy20 account all the damn time. The internet is wild as hell.— Jeff (@Jeff)1510206377.0
Becca wanted to be a sportswriter, but didn’t think anyone would take her seriously if she was a young woman.When confronted by the women she’d harassed, Becca admitted that she didn’t think as a woman she’d be able to make it as a sportswriter. So she assumed the identity of the older, male Ryan, sadly not an uncommon move for women who are worried they won’t be taken seriously as a writer.
But Becca got in too deep...
@AaronLemingNFL @roxy_felde This @rschultzy20 account was never real. It was a SHE the entire time. Some 21 year ol… https://t.co/K9vc5A3yvc— 💀 ₡ҤØ$Ẹ₦ Ø₦Ẹ 🧟♀️ (@💀 ₡ҤØ$Ẹ₦ Ø₦Ẹ 🧟♀️)1510192495.0
Harassment did not have to be part of Ryan’s persona to write about baseball.
I’m shocked and horrified by this @rschultzy20 catfishing situation. I interacted with “Ryan” often and went so far… https://t.co/ecKKliBpDv— Erika S. 😷 (@Erika S. 😷)1510248169.0
I was young and had no idea what to do, so I just acted like I thought a man would do. That slowly led me down a path to some things that I was very uncomfortable doing but didn’t even realize were happening.Unfortunately what was happening was that Becca had begun harassing women she met online as Ryan. According to the same Deadspin article Becca said,
I reached out to so many women to just gain traction and have someone convince me I wasn’t a horrible person. But instead they were trying to convince Ryan, who truly had become a horrible person.