Haliey Welch denies industry plant claims after “hawk tuah” phrase goes viral

Dylan Horetski
Haliey Welch Instagram

Haliey Welch, known as the girl behind the viral “hawk tuah” catchphrase, has denied claims that she’s an industry plant in a new video.

In June 2024, A viral clip from Tim and Dee TV showed the interviewers talking to a woman on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee. During the interview, a question sparked the now-viral “hawk tuah” catchphrase that took over the internet.

Days of searching revealed that the “hawk tuah girl” was Haliey Welch, who remained rather quiet until doing a podcast with YouTuber Brianna Lapaglia and re-joining social media.

There have been claims from various users online that Welch is an “industry plant” due to her sudden rise in fame, but the viral sensation has since denied them in a video on Instagram.

“I’m not an industry plant, it was not planned,” she said. “Every bit of it was just there, right in the moment. I had to ask what [industry plant] meant.”

She also reiterated that she wasn’t fired from a preschool due to the viral clip, making it quite clear that she’s never worked at one in the first place.

Haliey did work at a factory that makes springs but said she quit that job to travel. She’s been busy since the initial Tim and Dee TV interview, however.

During her interview with Lapaglia, she revealed plans to release a show about her life after the “life changing” street interview – but not before she does a few podcasts to talk about her newfound stardom.

She also met up with NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, who gave the woman “gracious” life advice while hanging out together.

Haliey Welch isn’t the first to be suspected of being an “industry plant” after receiving sudden viral fame online. Back in 2023, Bobby Altoff rose in popularity after her podcasts with Drake, Lil Yachty, and more took over social media, sparking similar accusations.

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