YouTubers Say The Darndest Things

On celebrity and consequence.

This is acclaimed actor Richard Gere, star of such movies as An Officer and a GentlemanPretty Woman, and The Mothman Prophecies.

I’d like you to imagine something for me. Imagine if one day, while being interviewed, the Golden Globe winning performer suddenly started repeating neo nazi talking points, ranting about societal “purity” and how immigrants need to come from “compatible” places.

Imagine if Richard Gere supported noted racist Steve King, specifically defending the phrase “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

Keep imagining.

Imagine if Richard Gere appeared on a livestream where he seemed to have a complete mental disconnect from reality, claiming discrimination can’t happen in America while simultaneously arguing that white people are being “displaced” from the country they built and wealthy black people commit more crimes than poor white people.

At this point I don’t want you to argue over what has been said. Just imagine Richard Gere going on this whirlwind tour of racially provocative statements.

What do you think would happen after he was done?

Do you think the press would ignore it, think it unimportant because he’s “just an actor” and pass it over for other stories?

YouTuber JonTron behaved the way our hypothetical Richard Gere did, and his frankly stunning outbursts were reported on by a number of outlets, primarily Gizmodo, which has been surprisingly pilloried for its decision to report on the things a notable person said and did. Totalbiscuit accused the publication of stirring drama and providing a “moral sermon” in its report. Boogie2988 declared JonTron a target of vindictive self-styled good guys who did bad things.

Neither men defended Jon’s views (how the fuck could any reasonable person try?), but they did express a shared sentimentality that Jon was seized upon by a hypocritical press with a sociopolitical axe to grind.

JonTron’s controversy comes off the back of PewDiePie’s departure from Maker Studios following a prank in which he had two Indian men hold up a sign reading “Death to all Jews.” This was reported on by the Wall Street Journal, prompting PewDiePie to fire back at what he considered a hit piece singling him out and painting him in an unfair light.

In an “apology” video, PewDiePie spent most of his time defending the joke, claiming it was “taken out of context” and that outlets like the Wall Street Journal are out to get him. He claimed reports on his “just jokes brah” did more harm than good because it didn’t focus on actual problems and real racism.

“Personally, I think they are the ones normalizing hatred because there is actual hatred out there,” Mr. DiePie suggested. “Instead of celebrating my show getting canceled, why don’t we focus on that instead? Why don’t we focus on some real issues?”

Again, I’d like to return us briefly to my thought experiment. Imagine Richard Gere publishing a YouTube video in which he had men hold a sign up reading “Death to all Jews” and laughing because the men holding the sign didn’t understand the English language. Imagine the reaction to that.

For one thing, it would be more than a few online articles talking about the situation. CNN, FOX News, the goddamn BBC would be all over that story like flies on shit. Richard Gere is a big deal, a hugely well known actor, and the very idea of a man that influential doing anything so incomprehensibly stupid would turn quite a few heads.

This is to say nothing of what would happen if he pulled what JonTron pulled. Let’s be perfectly honest – Richard Gere’s career would be over. You can survive an unsubstantiated rumor about slinging a gerbil up yourself, but parroting racist views on livestreams?

And yes, some of the outlets covering Gere’s behavior would be hypocrites to criticize him for it. But they’d do it. Oh how they’d do it in droves. And let’s be honest, not a one of us would be surprised about it. In fact, we’d all be talking about that time Richard Gere went fucking postal on the Internet.

What Fantasy Racist Richard Gere did makes Michael Richards’ notorious outburst seem almost considered, and I think we can all agree the former Seinfeld star won’t be getting a major role in House of Cards anytime soon.

Keep all that in mind, and now remember that JonTron and PewDiePie are more relevant to a younger generation of people than Richard Gere will ever be.

PewDiePie has over 54 million subscribers. More kids recognize him than Jennifer Lawrence. Somehow he is surprised the media would cover him doing something shocking and offensive. JonTron has a less titanic three million subscribers, but that’s still an incredible amount of people watching and he’s still more important to young audiences than many “mainstream” media sources now.

These men are bigger than Richard Gere. In many ways they’re hotter than Hollywood’s hottest. The idea they wouldn’t start making headlines when they say and do outrageous things is beyond naive and perhaps speaks to how utterly unprepared for fame they are.

For me, there’s no point debating what JonTron said. His defenders can claim he was “taken out of context” but there’s no real context that justifies some of the shit I’d heard with my own two ears. They weren’t jokes, they were beliefs. And yes, he absolutely has a right to those beliefs, just as much as anybody else has a right to find those beliefs vile and disconcerting

They’re the views that would tank the career of someone who isn’t lucky enough to have their foundation on YouTube, where the professional consequences rarely amount to more than a momentary dip in subscribers.

JonTron and PewDiePie, while lamenting the hit jobs being performed on them by an evil Old World Media that hates those Young n’ Crazy Rebels, fail to realize quite how fucking lucky they are to live in a world where what they did amounted to a bit of a bashing in some blogs before the world moved on.

The fortune inherent in that situation is nothing short of miraculous, given the entertainment careers that have imploded across the decades before YouTube found a home for everybody.

Kramer, ya were born in the wrong decade, bud!

[Note: To emphasize, I am not saying that what PewDiePie did and what JonTron did are on the same level. I believe PDP’s video was intended to be humorous but a very, very bad idea. I think JonTron was just fucking gross. However, the naive reactions they both had are absolutely comparable]

Basically, YouTubers need to face the reality that with the fame and fortune they worked so hard for comes caveats. Once you start influencing millions of minds, of course people are going to notice when you do something that crosses a line. PewDiePie, JonTron, and those defending them seem taken aback, horrified even, that the likes of the Wall Street Journal would bother with them, that they’re being focused on instead of “real issues” without realizing they are the issue now.

They’re the next generation of celebrity, and guess what, celebrities get talked about.

Celebrities get talked about a lot.

“Sometimes people are gonna say things you don’t like,” explained Boogie in his video. “People are gonna have ideas and opinions that you don’t enjoy.”

This is true and it works both ways. One opinion and idea that several big YouTubers don’t enjoy right now is that YouTubers are relevant enough to make headlines and become international controversies. One opinion and idea that several big YouTubers don’t enjoy right now is that, no, you can’t share your racist beliefs and expect nobody to argue back.

The Internet has warped the idea of “free speech” to mean “speech without consequence” and that’s simply not what it is.

Absolutely, JonTron can share a Trumpian view on immigration and claim discrimination isn’t a problem, but other people have the exact same right to call him out on it. Given how insular YouTube communities can be, it’s easy to see why some might believe they’re free from the consequences of speech, but as their entertainment empires grow and more people become aware of them, they’re going to find those consequences are very real and they hit like a sack of bricks.

YouTube has seen more individuals than I can count skyrocket to fame without managers, without marketing departments, without agents, without people telling them when to stop or how what they say and do could impact the world as well as themselves. I do truly believe that some of them don’t understand how important they actually are, and that their surprise right now is genuine.

But this is the reality of the situation. You are celebrities now, and that doesn’t mean you get to say and do whatever you please. Just like an office worker can’t call their boss a shithead and expect to keep their job, so too can a JonTron not start spouting alt-reich rhetoric and expect Gizmodo not to write about it.

Just ask yourself from now on, “Would Richard Gere get away with it?”

If the answer is no, perhaps engage the brain before the words just come a-tumblin’ out.

AntarcticOasis
Guest
AntarcticOasis

I’m disheartened to see that there are people who genuinely believe racism doesn’t exist. I may be a somewhat privaleged white male but that doesn’t mean I’m blind to what goes on for many. That’s to say nothing of those who are homophobic, sexist or who otherwise behave or think in a way that is disrespectful of others’ rights just because they may not share a majority trait or be part of a majority group.

Gorantharon
Guest
Gorantharon

Oh, boy, get the seatbelts.

TylerB
Guest
TylerB
If someone’s a celebrity, on YouTube or otherwise, and either A: Makes a joke they know is offensive ala PewDiePie; or B: States such obviously controversial (and wrong, to me) opinions like JonTron did, they have to expect backlash. People get haters even if they’re only famous and not controversial at all, when you add a poor joke or some screwed up beliefs into the mix, it’s practically guaranteed. My mother uses this phrase all of the time “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” If you don’t want to deal with the consequences for a… Read more »
Alex Wheatley
Guest
Alex Wheatley

I don’t necessarily see this improving any time soon, seeing as we currently have, in the White House, a man who views the world in the same way – namely that it’s FINE for someone in a position of influence to just say whatever floats through their mind on Twitter without thinking through the possible consequences.

NT
Guest
NT

How soon until the inevitable Miniature Fantasy Willem Dafoe / Fantasy Racist Richard Gere slashfic gets written?

RaikuNH
Guest
RaikuNH

Already on it.

Zippydsmlee
Guest

Someone want to man’splain to me how Johntron and Pewdiepie incidents are the same? One seems a dare game on Jackass while the other is just pure un-explainable hatefull ranting.

Locuas
Guest

“WAAAH, THEY ARE ATTACKING MY FREE SPEECH!!!!”
that’s how.

Zippydsmlee
Guest

Now that is a perfect man’splaintion!

Masca
Guest

Both do something shocking in front of thousands/millions of people and then are shocked that the world is shocked.

It’s basically about refusing to face consecuences of fame (while enjoying all the benefits).

gigantor21
Guest
gigantor21

Their non-apologies and unjustified outrage over being called out were strikingly similar, even if JonTron’s rant was WAY worse.

Harrowing
Guest
Harrowing

They aren’t quite the same and I’d agree JonTron’s sincerely-held beliefs are worse. What PewDiePie did was still hateful and irresponsible, though.

That said, the reaction to them being called out on it was the same, and that’s more of the issue in this essay, I think.

Zippydsmlee
Guest
I can see PewDiePie’s thing begin stupid but at same time I can’t see it as that bad. Negative types will say its the end of the world but most should see it and dumb dank dark humor. I mean if you flip it and they said all whiteis must die no one would give a damn. The apology could be better but at the same time if it came from random humor you’d be shocked to have the world whine about this but not other things you’ve done that could be seen as bad or worse taken out of… Read more »
Vivi2372
Guest
Vivi2372

They’re not the same and the article never claimed they were either. Hell, the article isn’t even really about what they said so much as peoples reaction to media having the nerve to criticize them.

Zippydsmlee
Guest

Wouldn’t the average person reading it assume they are since no mention was made and reinforced that they were not? Assumption is 50% of reality after all. Least for the masses.

CaitSeith
Guest
CaitSeith

Jim clarified on the text: “the naive reactions they both had are absolutely comparable”.

Locuas joke was spot-on.

EDIT: Oh, That was an edit after this comment. My bad. 😛

Alex Wheatley
Guest
Alex Wheatley

I don’t think I’ll ever get over “Mr. DiePie”. Priceless!

Harrowing
Guest
Harrowing

Your lede here reminds me of a joke from the show Happy Endings in which a character convinces another character that Richard Gere is a Hurricane Katrina denier so he doesn’t have to watch Pretty Woman anymore.

Anyway I also like the article and think you do a great job summarizing why it matters that we call out YouTube personalities on their shit.

jedimastercosmin
Guest
jedimastercosmin

Fantasy Racist Richard Gere sounds like a dick. And not of the Robin variety.

That guy. You know? Yeah him.
Guest

I’d somehow managed to miss the whole JonTron controversy, but I’ve unsubscribed to him now, and not because he has a different point of view to me, but because YouTubers need to learn there are consequences to their actions, and however much they may like to think otherwise, they are in a position of influence, and have a responsibility to not spout hateful rhetoric at their audience.

Brandon Christopher
Guest
Brandon Christopher
Holy hell, I’ve been thinking the same thing. With fame, power, and wealth comes responsibility. It may not be fair in all cases, but it is infinitely foolish to think that nobody will either call you out or stand in your way. It is especially sad when people tend to paint themselves as the victim after saying/doing something ignorant, all the while severly downplaying their own actions. It is even more grating when I see those same people try to compare their plight to that of actual groups facing actual discrimination. One of the reasons that I do not use… Read more »
Monsterfurby
Guest
Monsterfurby

—-> The Internet has warped the idea of “free speech” to mean “speech without consequence” and that’s simply not what it is. <—- Just felt the need to emphasize this.

Vivi2372
Guest
Vivi2372

There seems to be a belief held by a lot of people in general that freedoms mean freedom from responsibility and consequences as well. Sadly it isn’t just limited to free speech though that’s probably the biggest one.

Jonathan Roth
Guest
Jonathan Roth

Also to be clear*, the “consequences here are people calling him a racist, disagreeing with him, unsubscribing from his channel and choosing not to do business with him/promote him.

*Not that you implied anything worse, but I saw a trend of the GG crowd to insist there had to be “consequences” for the women they targeted, and those “consequences” had no clear limit or time frame, and included endless harassment and threats.

Monsterfurby
Guest
Monsterfurby

I suppose one of the issues with these really emotional, heated online discussions is that people deal in “consequences” and not in “proportional/reasonable consequences” most of the time. The GG crowd illustrated that in horrible, horrible ways.

It’s fine to disagree with an opinion. It’s fine to disagree with someone else disagreeing. It’s fine to continue that to the nth iteration, until kingdom come. But what people seem to forget is considering what would be a proportional response to the thing they criticize, and what wouldn’t.

Chris Schwartz-Brown
Guest
Chris Schwartz-Brown
In this case though ‘consequences’ simply means not watching someone’s videos, unsubscribing and in Pewdie’s case losing sponsors. Those are totally reasonable consequences for people whose entire job is producing videos of themselves talking about things on the internet. It’s not censoring them, it’s a free exchange of ideas. JonTron believes Muslims are incompatible with Western civilization, I believe I’m never going to watch one of his videos again because he’s a racist tool. It’s as simple as that. If he loses money because people stop watching his stuff? That’s the free market right there, something right wingers like him… Read more »
Monsterfurby
Guest
Monsterfurby

Nothing to add but “amen to that”.

Turkeyherder
Guest
Turkeyherder

PewDiePie has gained subscribers in the time following this hit piece, so I don’t know why you’re saying that it would be a fair consequence. His subscribers had the context of his jokes so when somebody runs a hit piece on him, he doesn’t lose subscribers.
I think that you would enjoy it if PewDiePie lost subscribers, but unfortunately for you he has gained them.

Chris Schwartz-Brown
Guest
Chris Schwartz-Brown

I haven’t thought about him once in the more than a month it’s been since I made this comment. Sorry to disappoint, but the rest of us don’t spend time thinking about a shrieking idiot in YouTube and worrying about ways to hurt him.

Turkeyherder
Guest
Turkeyherder

I don’t watch the guy’s channel, but you were wrong when you said that he lost a bunch of subscribers over it. He gained about 3 million since then. So, we can just leave it at, you were wrong.

Chris Schwartz-Brown
Guest
Chris Schwartz-Brown
Really? You’re wading into months old comments threads to argue, but you don’t watch him. You’re either lying, or you just are that desperate to defend racists. And since you are starting shit this long after I made the comment you could at least read it. “not watching someone’s videos, unsubscribing and in Pewdie’s case losing sponsors.” The only thing I said was happening to your favorite screeching, homophobic, racist, rape joke enthusiast was that he was losing sponsors, which he absolutely did do. The rest was directed towards Jon Tron. Now, I’m going to assume you don’t watch him… Read more »
Robbie
Guest

A certain Miss Sarkeesian could use that memo.

qorl123
Guest
qorl123

Oh? Mind you, the consequence is not supposed to be harassment and death threats, that memo could rather be used by her most venomous detractors

Dragonzeanse
Guest
Dragonzeanse

That doesn’t really invalidate the legitimate criticism of Anita Sarkeesian, just because some assholes hated her. Guilt by association doesn’t work here.

Robbie
Guest

Yes, all those people calling her out for lying. Much misogyny, very harassment.

qorl123
Guest
qorl123

Oh, and not the unproven scam allegation and rape and death threats? Aren’t those the people she wanted to shut up?

Monsterfurby
Guest
Monsterfurby

To be honest, everyone in that debate loses.

Sharkz
Guest
Sharkz
I hope you’re going to one day realize that you’re acting as an apologist for every dictator in the world’s history. I’m sure Kim Jong-un will love to hear you say that “free speech” doesn’t mean “speech without consequence” while he’s executing enemies of his regime for their speech. Maybe if you got some time, do yourself a favor and read one of those horrid dead white males called John Stuart Mill who wrote “On Liberty”, a treatise on which a lot of your current rights and possibilities are based on: “The “people” who exercise the power, are not always… Read more »
Dragonzeanse
Guest
Dragonzeanse

Yeah, the whole argument kind of falls apart without that strawman, doesn’t it? I don’t see them yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.

seelefantman
Guest
seelefantman

getting called racist when you’re not a racist is called character assassination and this is illegal in some countries in the world.

Bpdelia
Guest
Bpdelia
Not in this county pal. And his views are, by absolute definition, racist. He believes that one race is superior to another race in our society. I suggest you read some of the defenses of the early NAZI movement in Weimar Germany. These EXACT arguments were made. They weren’t racist, it’s just that their theory of race was focused on the success of the Germanic people and other people’s were incompatible with the culture they were building. His belief is that white people are superior to blacks. I know this because he clearly doesn’t believe in institutional racism. And if… Read more »
Monsterfurby
Guest
Monsterfurby

Personal insults are not illegal in any democratic country of the world. However, *public* insults are, in some. That’s an important distinction though. It’s only character assassination if it’s suited to harm the target’s reputation with a third party.

drdvdplayerhandbook
Guest
drdvdplayerhandbook
There’s yet more to it. “Free speech” as a right means that the government and only the government can’t censor what you say. Anyone else can do it. If your employer wants to censor your words, they can. If a website you’re writing an article or commenting on wants to do it, they can too. Honestly, touting the phrase “free speech” is completely and utterly pointless in a free country. If you’re clamoring for free speech due to something you heard someone saying, well, guess what? Free speech is the only reason you got to hear it. But leave it… Read more »
Marcus Cohen
Guest
Marcus Cohen

It’s almost as if the Internet has killed the gentle art of keeping your political views to yourself.

Monsterfurby
Guest
Monsterfurby

Before the internet, we had a lot of metaphorical children playing next to oilfields. Now, they have high-speed access to flamethrowers.

mrhair
Guest
mrhair

Christ, I hate it when people write this stuff off as just, like, an opinion man, as if the rights and lives of others are equivalent to “what’s your favorite color?”

AtomicBananaPress
Guest
AtomicBananaPress

White, it seems, is their favorite color.

The Jünger Ludendorf
Guest
The Jünger Ludendorf

It’s mine. It contains every known colour in existance after all.

Artemiy
Guest
Artemiy

Kinda hard not to make parallels with the JQ episode about “Corrupt and suicidal indie devs”. People start doing entertainment business and not realizing the increase in scrutiny.

P. S. Also, I’ve almost never been as disappointed with TotalBiscuit.

Vivi2372
Guest
Vivi2372

I’m not a regular viewer of TB’s content, but I generally like the guy and his stuff so I was a bit disappointed as well. But the man can be wrong about something like this and I’ll still watch his stuff when he does something that interests me. Nobody’s perfect and he seems an intelligent and reasonable enough person that articles like this could actually change his mind. If not now then perhaps someday in the future.

Artemiy
Guest
Artemiy

Honestly, I’m pessimistic about it. He has started using his position of “I don’t engage with audience” as a shield, seemingly not being ashamed of “engaging” when he wants to bash his audience.
And when the JT stuff happened… He technically didn’t defend him. But, in my eyes, only technically. He was all too happy to shoot the messenger.

Adam Robert Sherman
Guest
Adam Robert Sherman

Actually, I recall that he doesn’t engage with the audience because it was causing him massive amounts of stress, which was affecting his cancer treatments.

Jonathan Roth
Guest
Jonathan Roth

I was expecting it. That was precisely his defense of Gamergate.

Vivi2372
Guest
Vivi2372

Huh, I wasn’t paying any attention to TB at that time so I was completely unaware he defended it. I think I may need to retract my previous statement.

Gorantharon
Guest
Gorantharon

That whole mess is a lot more complicated.

The first thing TB ever said about it was that he will not condone harassment, the problem came from him taking some of the points of GG, mainly the focus on disclosure, and doubling down on those, which in return made everyone with even the slightest axe to grind claim he was supporting GG in all aspects, including the attacks and harassment.

Vivi2372
Guest
Vivi2372

Interesting. I thank you for the clarification.

Ethan Bremner
Guest
Ethan Bremner

The problem with TB and GG is that he had been railing against many of the things they CLAIMED to be railing against (i.e. Games journalism integrity) for years prior to GG becoming a thing. So I think he was so happy to see a movement form around that issue.. that he failed to look and see that it was really just a smokescreen for misogyny and bigotry. As someone who enjoyed his content prior to it… it was really frustrating to watch him miss that smokescreen.

Gorantharon
Guest
Gorantharon

He didn’t fail to see what GG was.

His error was deperately trying to drag the legitimate issues in the foreground while assholes on all sides were just out for blood.

There was no safe discussion to be had, no matter how valid your argument, when all discussions would immediately be sorted into pro/contra.

Fallen Prime
Guest
Fallen Prime

In fairness, there as a point when I did too, under the impression that it DID actually have to do with journalism ethics and the future alt-righters were the fringe.

Didn’t take too long for that to die for me, though.

Ethan Bremner
Guest
Ethan Bremner

I found Jim through TB.. and stopped watching TB over time in part due to his tone deaf defense of what was happening in gaming with GG and in part because Jim was giving what was in my eyes way more thought out and conscientious content (yes the dude who often wields a giant purple dildo is more thought out than the dude who wears a top hat). I sincerely wish TB well and what he and his family have gone through with their health is truly horrible. But ill stick with Jim.. thank god for him.

CaitSeith
Guest
CaitSeith

He has an axe to grind with journalism, JonTron is his friend and he is human. But still…

Maljinwo
Guest
Maljinwo

I think no one in their right mind would agree with Jon’s claims.

That said, I don’t agree with the whole ‘Ill stop watching him/giving him clicks’.
His videos are (at least for me) fun and have no relation with his political or racist views

RifqiSpecialist
Guest
RifqiSpecialist

His videos might not have any relation to his views, but I could never look at him the same way again.

Maljinwo
Guest
Maljinwo

Sure, maybe as a person he is not the sam ol’ jolly Jon we knew.
Yet as long as his videos are free of this White supremacy-despite-the-fact-my-parents-are-immigrants he’ll keep my views

@Rachel McVeigh:disqus Watching him getting drunk and playing The Castlevania Adventure is now racist. Ok

Rachel McVeigh
Guest
Rachel McVeigh

I didn’t say that. All I said was that Jon is using his sub numbers as proof that people either don’t think he is a racist or that many of his subscribers agree with what he said. By continuing to subscribe he can claim your agreement.

If you are comfortable with that, then fine, I just thought you should be aware since you claim you think his views are shitty.

Maljinwo
Guest
Maljinwo

I don’t agree with his political views. And he can say whatever he wants about his sub number.

I watch his comedy content, not his twitter account

Rachel McVeigh
Guest
Rachel McVeigh

Right, but in your OP you said you didn’t understand why people would unsub from his channel. And not wanting to support his views or let him assume they supported his views are the reasons why a person would unsub.

Which is perfectly understandable no?

SNF
Guest
SNF

I think it’s up to everyone to decide how comfortable they personally are with enjoying content made by people who are assholes or who have awful views. I don’t think there’s a solid answer.

A lot of great art/entertainment is made by awful people, unfortunately.

Rachel McVeigh
Guest
Rachel McVeigh

I agree, but I also don’t think we should pretend to ourselves that we aren’t making that decision.

SNF
Guest
SNF

I’m just making the point that it’s perfectly valid to stop watching/listening to/reading/whatever content made by an asshole, but at the same time, it’s valid to decide that you’re able to separate the two. Deciding that you still appreciate the content despite the creator isn’t a less moral position.

Rachel McVeigh
Guest
Rachel McVeigh
I apologise if I came off in a way that made it sound like I thought deciding to appreciate content despite the opinions of the creator was a less moral position. It is perfectly possible to separate the work from the creator. The point I was trying and perhaps failing to make was that deciding to financially support an artist, despite their views, potentially comes with consequences that need to be accepted rather than glossed over and that people should think about that decision. An extreme example would be Burzum, you might like Varg’s music, but he is a Neo… Read more »
Vivi2372
Guest
Vivi2372

Are you familiar with the term strawman much?

Rachel McVeigh
Guest
Rachel McVeigh

look it’s fair enough if you wish to continue to support a racist, as Jim would say, you do you.

But by continuing to support him, you are implicitly agreeing with this views. Jon (and others) has been using his subscriber numbers as proof that people either agree with him or don’t think his views are that horrible.

Silvershock
Guest
Silvershock

I could not disagree more. The idea that you implicitly support everyone’s political views by enjoying their entertainment content is ridiculous. Half the rock and metal I listen to was made by various levels of asshole, but it’s still great music. Pretty sure that if you went through the huge teams creating most films and TV shows, you’d be able to find a few properly repugnant views. If you start purging available entertainment every time a creator holds an unfavourable opinion, you’re going to be left with very little.

ConradZimmerman
Guest
ConradZimmerman
It’s more like by continuing to provide support for their comedy (or whatever entertainment they make) with the knowledge that it enriches their personal lives, you’re enriching their ability to promote their rhetoric. “Implicit” support may be the wrong word to use in these discussions, because people think it means that you share the view, which may not be the case. “Indirect” may be more accurate, in that your intent is for your support to go toward one thing, but once you’ve supported that one thing, this other thing you don’t like will be supported also and you have no… Read more »
BAH!
Guest
BAH!

You are on a roll today!

Silvershock
Guest
Silvershock
No kidding involved – I know that viewership provides a platform, but as we’re seeing here, having more eyes on your opinions isn’t exactly a good defence of those opinions. I’ve never been tribalistic about the things I enjoy (and granted, I know that’s infuriatingly rare) so it causes me no cognitive dissonance at all to say that someone is right on A, wrong on B, funny about C, etc. My objection was to the notion that I must agree with those views, as put forth by Rachel. That’s nonsense. I don’t agree with everything TB says, or Jim says,… Read more »
ConradZimmerman
Guest
ConradZimmerman

Yeah, I mean, as long as you’re cool with the fact that you’ll never actually be able to separate the artist from the art entirely, you do you. No judgments here on that.

Rachel McVeigh
Guest
Rachel McVeigh
I’m not saying people with shitty views can’t make good entertainment, but they you have to accept that they have that shitty view and that by continuing to support them you are supporting that view or them being able to make that view more widely known. People are people, some of them have shitty views, it’s up to people to decide what behaviour they can divorce from entertainment. To decide where their line is and what behaviour they’ll accept. That is why Mel Gibson still has a career. I accept that my support implies agreement and decide where my line… Read more »
CaitSeith
Guest
CaitSeith

“But by continuing to support him, you are implicitly agreeing with this views.”

If by support him, you mean defending it against the unfair journalism; I agree. But if you mean watching his material on Youtube without ad-block, I disagree.

SpiceMustFlow
Guest
SpiceMustFlow
Paulus Hector Mair was a civil servant of Augsburg during Sixteenth Century. He made it a mission to use his family’s fortune to transcribe and save many martial manuals of European martial arts and collect them all into 3 compendiums. He allowed for us today to be able to understand how people fought during this period without the modernization of the arts like what Joachim Meyer did. He also lead a lavish lifestyle well beyond his means, and he supported this by embezzling funds from the city of Augsburg over the course of his time as a civil servant, was… Read more »
Rachel McVeigh
Guest
Rachel McVeigh

can dead people use the money from your financial support to embezzle more money from innocent victims?

SNF
Guest
SNF

“I think no one in their right mind would agree with Jon’s claims.”

Those views are popular enough that they’re in the White House now.

They’re fucked up views, but they’re pretty widespread. Which is the worst part. It’d be better if views like JonTron’s were actually fringe.

CaitSeith
Guest
CaitSeith

Fair enough. On other topic, did you try FEZ? Do you think it’s a good retro-platformer?

Thomas Pettus
Guest
Thomas Pettus
Jim, the Pewdiepie one was kind of obviously a hit piece. The point of that video he made was to show the ridiculous things people would do for $5 It’s kind of telling that people don’t ever include the punchline to his joke there. The whole line was “Death to all jews, subscribe to Keemstar”. Was it a good joke? Well, you can judge that for yourself, but it was obviously a joke, not a serious sentiment. Beyond that, they deliberately quote mined other videos and took things out of context to paint the worst possible picture they could. No… Read more »
Jim Sterling
Guest

Again, imagine Richard Gere making those jokes and you should see what my point was.

Drew Beasanski
Guest
Drew Beasanski

You make me think of Mel Gibson, and the things he has said and done over the years. He is still in show business? I guess time heals all wounds? I’m concerned the Roman Polanski might get off scott free for his transgressions. Truly a bizarre world we live in

Rob
Guest
Rob

Might? He absolutely will.
Hell, his films make bank so no one in the industry will speak less than praise for fear of getting blacklisted.

Thomas Pettus
Guest
Thomas Pettus

Richard Gere isn’t functionally a comedian. If you strip the context from a joke, then paint it as representative of a person’s beliefs things get problematic, especially if it’s your job to make people laugh.

If you want to make the comparison accurate, it would be like Richard Gere getting slammed for acting in a questionable role.

Jim Sterling
Guest

“If you want to make the comparison accurate, it would be like Richard Gere getting slammed for acting in a questionable role.”

Which has happened to plenty of actors and so would still make the same point for me.

Thomas Pettus
Guest
Thomas Pettus

Fair enough, I can agree that when you walk the line, you can expect some to fall on either side of that line. The larger an audience you have, the larger the response. If that’s your point, then point taken.

Vivi2372
Guest
Vivi2372

Even if it were a professional comedian (you can pick almost any at random, it doesn’t matter too much), that “joke” would still be viewed as inappropriate and they’d get slammed by the media for it so you’re entire point is fairly moot.

Being a comedian doesn’t protect one from consequences when the joke isn’t funny and goes too far.

Jim Sterling
Guest

Yep, in fact you see the same naive shock from a number of comedians out there in the standup world, the ones who also believe consequences can’t come with their careers.

Artemiy
Guest
Artemiy

I now kinda wonder how much flak Carlin has received and how he reacted.

Vivi2372
Guest
Vivi2372
He probably received a lot and from his comedy I’d say it probably didn’t bother him that much. Now outrage can be misplaced or unwarranted (see every Christian that gets offended by the Facebook god and tells them they’re going to hell), but that’s another question entirely. When people say things that may be controversial people can criticize. And everyone is welcome to criticize their criticism if it is felt to be unwarranted. But Jim was specifically talking about people arguing that these guys shouldn’t have been criticized at all by anyone for some reason or another. Nothing ever works… Read more »
Thomas Pettus
Guest
Thomas Pettus

Really? You must be listening to very different comedians than me. But sure, actions have consequences, that’s totally valid. The issue I had with it was that it was reported as if it wasn’t a joke and that it was him expressing his beliefs, not that there was backlash.

Fallen Prime
Guest
Fallen Prime

On the comedians point… Gilbert Gottfried lost the Aflac gig for a too-far joke he made on Twitter(?).

Nutarama
Guest
Nutarama

Gottfried made a September 11th joke that September, so he kinda has a history..

Locuas
Guest

“The point of that video he made was to show the ridiculous things people would do for $5”
oh, great, in other words “lol, look poor people doing anything for money. they are pathetic”.
why do you think explaining the joke makes it less shitty?

Rachel McVeigh
Guest
Rachel McVeigh

*silly poors, they’ll write racist words in a language they probably don’t understand for money*

Rob
Guest
Rob

*brought to you by a millionaire paying poor people to make hate comments so he will make money himself

Thomas Pettus
Guest
Thomas Pettus

I didn’t say it was a good joke, just that it was an attempt at one that press organisations spun as indicative of his personal beliefs.

Locuas
Guest
What was spun? the fact that, upon hearing poor people were doing that, he decided to showcases them in a context of mockery and did not care that they could lose their job? because that is EXACTLY what he did. “Sense of Humor” is a funny thing. it is something that is defined by our personal beliefs. For example, some people do not find dark jokes aobut suicide are not funny because they have the personal belief that suicide is not a topic to be taken lightly because of how many people actually try to ocmmit suicide. likewise, someone who… Read more »
ManuOtaku
Guest
ManuOtaku
“but it was obviously a joke, not a serious sentiment” First I don´t consider people can do anything for money a joke, especially when it is poor people from a poor country that do not understand the language. We know that, it is part of human nature, from politicians, to millionares to poor people, it is more of an statement of a know condition than a joke, under the context. Secondly, the death of a whole ethnicity, especially one that was on a blink of extermination, in a machiavellian mechanical fashion it is also no joke material. Like I said,… Read more »
SNF
Guest
SNF

The thing with Pewdiepie for me is that, when you do shock humor, you have to accept the consequences of that. It’s a choice you make.

Some people will be shocked or angry at what you did. That’s the entire point of shock humor. You should expect it. If you can’t deal with people being mad at you for a joke involving saying “Death to all Jews”, then you shouldn’t be making those kinds of jokes.

That’s not to say that using shock humor is always a bad thing. But it’s something you should do knowing the consequences and accepting them.

ichkanns
Guest
ichkanns

As someone who holds that most political positions are inherently immoral, I’d have a hard time finding any content creators to view if I only picked those with whom I shared moral and political opinions.

Howl
Guest
Howl

I’m so sad about the Jontron thing, the guy is a son of immigrants with many friends of different cultures, it’s still so unreal that he’s actually drunk the Koolaid on this shit

Alex Liddell
Guest
Alex Liddell

Allegedly he’s got quite a serious drug problem and a massive ego (I say allegedly because this is just on the grapevine from the friends that cut ties with him because of his increasingly worrying behaviour and beliefs, I’m just repeating what I heard), which is not a great combination when you are not famous but when you shove on a ton of pressure and self-conciousness that comes from fame it can be a doozy. So that could be an explanation for his sudden outburts.
Mind you… he could really be THAT DUMB, that’s sadly a possibility.

Fallen Prime
Guest
Fallen Prime

This whole situation has led me to wonder just how much of this behavior played into his departure from Game Grumps. He’d said it was to focus more on the JonTron videos, and it correlated directly to his moving to New York, but… he and Arin weren’t talking much about it, and he wasn’t mentioned on the show until one of their runs beat Sonic ’06’s episode count. There had to have been more to it than just that. Maybe this was it.

TheGZeus
Guest
TheGZeus

This a guy who’s asked “is cream milk?” and “are lamb and sheep the same thing?”

Shahley
Guest
Shahley

You know which groups have been historically very anti-immigrant? Recently naturalised immigrants. People who made it up the ladder want to kick it out just like those who make it rich from poverty can be the most anti-social security.

BrainBlow
Guest

Sad but true. Just look at Bill O’REILLY whining about immigrants and their influence and “threat” to the nation.

Lorfarius
Guest

Poor Richard Gere.

Skill Up
Guest
Skill Up

Lumping in Jon with Felix is uncharacteristically obtuse.

Jim Sterling
Guest

How? Most conversations about this issue have spoken about the pair of them, since the controversies happened so close together. And at no point did I say that what PDP did was comparable to JonTron.

His reaction, however, was exactly what I was talking about. The naive shock of it all.

Skill Up
Guest
Skill Up
Pewd’s example sits within a context comedy, where it is important to push boundaries, be they racial or otherwise. Jon’s did not. Pewd’s is clearly not a racist, where Jon is. I take from your article ‘both PDP and Jon need to watch what they say because they are famous’, which I think is the wrong message. I want Louis CK to use the ‘N-word’ on stage because it helps us mature a civilization. Humor challenges us and helps us laugh at some of the worst parts of ourselves. I want humor that is well intentioned but goes too far… Read more »
ConradZimmerman
Guest
ConradZimmerman

Except PDP’s “joke” was exploitative and (if not explicitly racist) classist. He exploited economically disadvantaged people in a publicly embarrassing manner for his personal profit and pleasure. So, no, Felix needs to grow up hard.

Skill Up
Guest
Skill Up

That’s a perfectly valid perspective as well. Part of the ‘well intentioned humor that goes too far’ equation.

Alexander Douglas Miller
Guest
Alexander Douglas Miller

Yeah, it sounds a little like paying street people to fight each other, almost. Fun from some perspectives no doubt, but it seems horribly exploitative from others.

Nathan Aldana
Guest
Nathan Aldana

except, louis CK using the n word is entirely on him as a decision and not your decision to make just because you think screaming SHITCUNT somehow challenges people to be better.

Alex Liddell
Guest
Alex Liddell
Not just the shock either, the weird arguments people have been spouting that pewdiepie and jontron are being victimised by the press because their beliefs and actions are being reported on and criticised. As if being a millionaire youtuber awards you special protections not available to other types of millionaires. As if valid criticisms of them gaining wider press attention is somehow victimising them. The boogie and totalbiscuit videos were really weird tbh because they seemed to be treating content creators who have a reach of literally millions as if they were small channels getting unfairly singled out for abuse… Read more »
ThEjOkErIsWiLd
Guest
ThEjOkErIsWiLd

“This is to say nothing of what would happen if he pulled what JonTron would.”

Pretty sure that last “would” should be “did.” Hire a bloody proofreader already.

Jim Sterling
Guest

This was fixed before you finished writing this comment.

Matthew Weissenborn
Guest
Matthew Weissenborn

bamboozled again

Matthew Weissenborn
Guest
Matthew Weissenborn

D A M A G E D

Alex Wheatley
Guest
Alex Wheatley

Does he need a proof-reader though? There are enough of us here that are anal enough to point them out in the first 10 minutes either way. We already are Jim’s proof-readers, and we do it for free because we like to see great content on this site =D

Krory
Guest
Krory

Very well said. The only thing I’d say is missing is that Twitch streamers also need to have this realization. Destiny seems to have lost his mind in the last couple weeks.

gigantor21
Guest
gigantor21

The whole piece was spot on, but the bit about Youtubers with millions of viewers being shocked, SHOCKED that their words have consequences now spoke to me the most.

Tylericous
Guest
Tylericous

I thought the Pewdiepie thing was stupid, but goddamn Jon Tron. He literally defended keeping America a white ethnocentric state by agreeing that we can’t have other people come over and have babies here. I consider myself pretty reasonable on this stuff, hell I’m not even liberal on immigration, but some of the stuff he said is batshit insane.

You can have your opinions, but people can call them out, especially when they’re as fucking stupid as what Jon Tron has been saying.

VanessaMagick
Guest
VanessaMagick

I was more than a little bit worried going into this editorial but after reading it through I honestly couldn’t agree more.

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