Update on Paul Zimmer and Troy Becker
Moira Sirois and Alexandra McArver
A few months ago, we wrote an article about a social media influencer named Paul Zimmer. He first got famous on Musica.ly (now TikTok) and then gained a following on Instagram and YouTube. He dropped all social media accounts after people started a hashtag #banpaulzimmer to ban him from Musica.ly because he was scamming his fans. He disappeared until fall of this year when he posted on Instagram claiming someone named Troy Becker, a 16-year-old actor, looked exactly like him. Later that same week Zimmer said he would be leaving social media and giving all his accounts to Becker. But people were quick to realize that Zimmer and Becker were the same person. Although in reality, Zimmer is 24.
Recently, there have been more developments in the Zimmer/Becker situation. Recently, Becker posted to Zimmer’s TikTok addressing the rumors and saying that he would explain everything on his own TikTok and linked his account, @troybeckertiktok, in the caption.
To date, Becker has posted 15 videos to his account. The first three are explanation videos and the others are just regular content.
“I honestly don’t care if you believe me or not because I know who I am. I know my truth,” he said in the first video.
The second video answers the question “Is Paul Zimmer Troy Becker?”
In the video, he says, “My name is Troy Becker, I’m an actor, and Paul Zimmer is a character that I created for social media.”
This seems like a huge plot twist because the whole time, everyone thought Paul Zimmer was the real person and Troy Becker was a character he made up.
However, “some of the things that he’s saying are technically not incorrect, but it is at the very least extremely misleading,” Danny Gonzalez said in his YouTube video Update Corner: Paul Speaks Out.
Legally, his name is Troy Becker. However, that is because he legally changed his name to Troy Becker in 2019, according to an Insider article. Before this, his legal name was Paul Gutowski so when he said that Paul Zimmer was a character that was also technically true. So while he wasn’t always Troy Becker, he is now, which means what he said in his video was all technically true, but it was quite misleading.
The final explanation video addresses concerns about him scamming people. His answer;
“Nope,” he answered. “Just because I’ve done really good on social media doesn’t mean I’ve scammed anyone… and I always gave my followers everything that I promised and more.”
Except that is a complete lie and he definitely did scam people. Sure, just because someone is successful doesn’t automatically mean they’ve scammed people, but he actually did scam his fans.
On Zimmer’s live streams, fans could send him “gifts” which were paid for with real money. He said that in return for giving him a gift, he would do a duet in one of his fans’ videos. However, he never duetted anyone’s videos and his old page doesn’t have any duets on it.
He also said he never got banned and that he chose to leave. This part is true. While there was a hashtag to ban Paul Zimmer, he never actually got banned.
One question that never got answered was why he pretended he was 16. That was probably the most disturbing aspect of his journey from Paul Zimmer to Troy Becker and it is now the only aspect that he hasn’t addressed. Hopefully, that means the age difference part of his charade is over but it is unclear.