While YouTube is an entertainment video platform for many people, it like most other social media sites has had it’s fair share of controversy revolving around content creators and their extremely different personalities. Here are a few of the most controversial events that have occurred with some of YouTubes most popular stars.
4. Logan Paul
Popular YouTuber, Logan Paul recently posted a controversial video to his YouTube channel that caused arguably one of the most controversial instances on the broadcasting website to date. Paul’s videos, usually an onslaught of relentless barrage of boasts, pranks, and stunts, have collected him masses of adoring fans of all ages. The YouTuber faced harsh public backlash after posting a video in which he and his buddies explored into the Aokigahara Forest of Japan, sometimes called the “suicide forest,” only to find the body of a young male who appeared to have recently committed suicide.
While most would surely turn off their camera, Paul reacted to the shocking sight by continuing his filmed antics, pinballing between awe and irreverence, showing the body up close and then turning the attention back to his own reaction. After a huge wave of criticism and backlack in the comment threads of his videos and replies on Twitter, Paul removed the video and issued a written apology, which turned out to be just as criticized for not being sympathetic enough by his fans. He later announced he would be taking a break from YouTube.
3. The Gabbie Show
Ricegum, a YouTuber who is most known for his ill-toned music tracks that are usually directed at other vloggers, fellow YouTube stars and music stars. Earlier this year, YouTuber, Vlogger and Musician, Gabbie Hanna, host of The Gabbie Show, posted a Snapchat video challenging ricegum to a freestyle battle, in good fun to collaborate for their fanbases. One night shortly after, both YouTubers unexpectedly attended the same party. During the event, Hanna posted a Snapchat video showing the popular YouTuber Ricegum had refused her challenge, to which she jokingly responded “All right, so rice doesn’t have his ghostwriter today. It’s fine. I think we can still battle. I think we’re good. No?”
During the Snapchat video, Ricegum who was at the time looking away from the camera, simply smiled and laughed off her comments and the challenge as a whole. Later that night, Hanna posted a video of herself in tears, accusing the popular YouTuber of assaulting her.
“Okay, so update, sorry if it looks like I’m crying. Ricegum didn’t think that joke was very funny and he hit me in the middle of a party and shattered my phone, I can show you that in a sec. I’m standing out on the balcony so that it doesn’t, like, make a scene. He literally, like, everybody’s like, “did he hit you?” and I was like, “yeah, he did.” And my phone is broken, the screen is broken, the back camera is broken, so I need to get a new phone.” Said Hanna.
2. Sam Pepper
YouTube sensation, Sam Pepper who’s mostly known for his pranking videos decided to play a prank on a Vine user and long-term friend, Sam Golbach, which from the outside doesn’t seem too far from his usual comedic videos. During the video, Pepper enticed Golbach’s best friend Colby Brock to get in on the joke and feature in the video – again, something that wasn’t out of character for Pepper.
In the video, Golbach and Brock are seen driving down a quiet road when their car suddenly stops. When the friends get out to investigate, a masked man approaches Golbach, throws a black hood over his head, ties him up, and throws him in the trunk. The video then shows Golbach and Brock mysteriously tied up in chairs next to each other, looking like they’ve just been casted in the newest kidnapping/horror movie. The video then cuts to a masked man who proceeds to point a gun at Brock’s head and shows Golbach pleading for his friend’s life, worried and distraught.
Back in 2006 when YouTube was just starting to become a known broadcasting website, many of its growing users were still attempting to learn how the video platform functioned, how to connect with an audience more personally than just an everyday at-home video, and its limitations. YouTube personality Lonelygirl15 was one of the first known vlog-style YouTubers who really identified the style of video and made it into what we see today. While Lonelygirl15, who was posting daily vlogs about her life wasn’t the only vlogger at the time, her growing fanbase made her the most popular on the platform, and most likely the biggest household YouTuber name to date. However, Lonelygirl15 quickly ended her reign across YouTube when her fans started learning details about her entire life and began speculating theories around the user, discussing whether what she was showing to her audience was truely real or not. After many months of speculation and controversy, Bree, the woman behind Lonelygirl15 opened up to her audience and admitted that she was actually an actress by the name of Jessica Rose. Fans became suspicious, and eventually proved that Bree’s entire existence had been a hoax.
The YouTube channel eventually evolved into a sci-fi series but didn’t quite take off as a hit due to her many fans losing interest once they realized her videos were all scripted.