The Conversation: Who is Behind Twitter's BP Parody?

ABC's Jeremy Hubbard chats with the star of the satirical BP Twitter account.

ByABC News
September 14, 2010, 12:07 PM

Sept. 14, 2010— -- The world has long wanted to know the identity of the mastermind behind the Twitter alias BPGlobalPR. In what must have been a public relations nightmare for BP executives, a BP Twitter account emerged within the first few days of the Gulf oil spill, spouting messages that seemed to highlight BP's missteps in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Taking the day off to go fish fighting with the boys. Tony Hayward punched a dolphin so hard it puked!" said a tweet posted June 6..

"If it weren't for the spill, those sweet @barackobama topless pix wouldn't exist. You're welcome America. #ooolala," reads a more recent tweet.

In an ABC Conversation this past June, we spoke with this mastermind - a man named "Terry" - a shadowy figure with a disguised voice. We agreed to conceal his identity.

In what seemed to be a well-planned stunt, the lights went on and for a few moments we caught a glimpse of the face of the man behind the twitters. "I didn't intend to show you guys my face," he laughed. And until now, we've helped keep "Terry's" true identity a secret.

ABC's Jeremy Hubbard sat down with "Terry" and he's finally decided to come out of the shadows. His name is Josh Simpson, a comedian based out of Los Angeles, formerly associated with the website Funny or Die. What brought him out of hiding? "I feel like things have kind of cooled off now, so when I make public appearances, it's kind of weird to be in a mask because no one really cares."

To be clear, Simpson is not an employee of BP. But maybe they're fans? "Probably not. I don't know. They haven't said too much. I would imagine they're not huge fans," says Simpson.

Why did he decide to invent this parody of BP Public Relations? "Well I did it just as a reaction to the way BP was trying to spin things in the Gulf. I felt they were trying to protect their brand more than they were trying to be proactive and honest about the situation down there," said Josh. Inspired by a video online where he saw press being turned away from the beach, Simpson said. "That made it pretty clear to me - if you're going to try kick the press off the beach, it just didn't seem like a very open policy to me. So that was a small impetus. That was kind of about a bigger thing, it was just a reaction to spin really."

Simpson wasn't the only mastermind behind BPGlobalPR. The Twitter account included "about 15 writers contributing pretty regularly to this," said Simpson.

He hopes that this parody can grow into something bigger for him. He has aspirations of being a comedy writer. Could he have predicted that this Twitter account would morph into something so big?

"Certainly not!" he exclaims.

Learn more about Josh, his BPGlobalPR parody and how he accidentally revealed his identity to us in today's Conversation!

Click here to watch more from the Conversation series.

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