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Another Top 10 Worst YouTube Scandals

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
The drama never stops here on good ol’ YouTube! For this list, we’ll be looking at ten more scandals that plagued the YouTube community and made mainstream headlines, excluding cases where people were convicted of actual crimes. WatchMojo counts down Another Top 10 Worst YouTube Scandals.
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Script written by Nathan Sharp

Another Top 10 Worst YouTube Scandals


The drama never stops here on good ol’ YouTube! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down another top ten worst YouTube scandals.

For this list, we’ll be looking at ten more scandals that plagued the YouTube community and made mainstream headlines, excluding cases where people were convicted of actual crimes. If you don’t see a scandal you think should have been on this list, be sure to check out the original top ten worst YouTube scandals.

#10: The Beauty Racism Scandal

What do they say about glass houses and throwing stones again? These beauty gurus could have used a refresher! In summer 2018, the beauty community was rocked by a racism scandal reported in Vox and The Washington Post. It all started with a fallout between makeup artist Jeffree Star and other beauty mavens. In a tweet, Gabby Zamora accused Star of being racist, but it backfired when followers dug up offensive social media posts from Zamora, as well as Nikita Dragun, Manny MUA, and Laura Lee - who once advised black people to pull up their pants when running from police . . . The scandal led to Lee’s infamous and widely ridiculed apology video.

#9: Kian Lawley Dropped From “The Hate U Give”

It was the opportunity of a lifetime . . . but he’d already blown it. In 2017, YouTuber Kian Lawley landed a role in the film adaptation of Angie Thomas’ novel “The Hate U Give” as Chris, the boyfriend of a black teenager whose friend is killed by a white police officer. But in February 2018, with shooting already underway, a video surfaced of Kian making racist jokes and using racial slurs. To the surprise of no one, Kian was promptly fired, and replaced with “Riverdale’s” KJ Apa. He was also dropped by his talent agency, potentially ending his acting career. The movie went on to score 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

#8: Eugenia Cooney’s Thinness

Beauty YouTuber Eugenia Cooney has been controversial ever since her first video, due to her extremely thin appearance. In 2016, a change.org petition called for YouTube to temporarily ban her account, claiming she has a negative influence on young girls - some of whom say they want to be “Eugenia Cooney skinny.” Eugenia subsequently stated that she doesn’t endorse being underweight, and YouTube refused to ban her account. This in turn sparked heated discussions around the extent of control and influence that people can or should have over others’ bodies. To this day her videos receive a significant portion of dislikes.

#7: LeafyIsHere's Cyberbullying

For a while there, LeafyIsHere managed to make a career out of just ridiculing people on YouTube. Guess we’re all good at something? In 2016, he decided to turn his mean streak onto autistic YouTuber TommyNC2010, making fun of his appearance and behavior. In a tearful response, TommyNC2010 claimed that Leafy’s toxic fans were sending him death threats. An iDubbbz Content Cop video soon followed, criticizing Leafy’s repetitive and low quality content, after which Leafy’s subscriber count began to plummet. He stopped uploading content in December 2017, and YouTube isn’t exactly worse off for it!

#6: Elsagate

Spanning multiple channels, Elsagate changed how YouTube monitors content. The foundations were laid in 2014, when Quebec City-based channel “Webs and Tiaras” began uploading videos featuring people dressed up as Elsa and Spider-Man in unexpected and disturbing situations. At first glance, the videos seemed family-friendly, and designed to draw in younger viewers. But then things get . . . weird. And inappropriate. Then there was the channel “Toy Freaks”, run by a single father who liked to scare his daughters and show them spitting up food. The media was slow to react, but in 2017 a slew of articles prompted YouTube to delete thousands of videos and announce new guidelines.

#5: The Channel Awesome Management Controversy

There’s only so much that people will take. In March 2018, former Channel Awesome employees alleged mistreatment by the company’s upper management. They accused the Walker borthers of being incompetent and failing to communicate with producers, and alleged that the company fosters an incredibly sexist working environment. A few months later, a document titled Not So Awesome was released via Google Drive, detailing numerous further complaints. Channel Awesome brushed off the accusations, calling its former employees “disgruntled” and “vindictive” - making the situation much, much worse. When the dust settled, only four producers remained, where once there were 40.

#4: Shane Dawson & His . . . “Jokes”

Shane Dawson just keeps piling it on. In 2012, Dawson thought it would be hilarious to perform in blackface at VidCon. It . . . wasn’t, and he apologized. In the meantime though, he’d joked - if that’s the word - about Googling “naked babies” and finding a “little kid” “sexy”. He offered a quote unquote “justification” for pedophilia. It all resurfaced in 2018, when he was lambasted on Twitter. That same year, he copped criticism for his documentary on Jake Paul, in which he asked a marriage and family counselor if Jake Paul was a sociopath. Oh, and then in March 2019, someone dug up a clip of him talking about ejaculating on his cat. His response on Twitter has already become legendary.

#3: TanaCon

If Tana Mongeau will be remembered for anything, it will be the utter dumpster fire that was Tanacon. When VidCon refused to brand Tana a “featured creator”, she created the self-named TanaCon in retaliation, hosting it at the Anaheim Marriott Suites on the same day as VidCon. The event was sold well over capacity, leaving fans stuck outside in the sun for hours. And when they got inside, the “convention” was little more than a hotel hallway with nothing to do. The “gift bags” given to VIPs consisted of wristbands and TanaCondoms. Frustrated attendees compared it to Fyre Festival, and security shut the whole thing down after just a few hours.

#2: PewDiePie’s Racism Scandals

2017 was NOT PewDiePie’s year. In February, the Wall Street Journal pegged nine of his videos as including anti-Semitic content and Nazi imagery. PewDiePie apologized, while also claiming that the media had taken his jokes and statements out context. Nonetheless, he was fired from Disney’s Maker Studios for “going too far.” The following September, Pewds uttered the n-word during a live stream of “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds”, and had to apologize again, calling himself an idiot. Then in December 2018, he was called out for promoting E;R, an anti-Semitic, homophobic, and sexist video essayist. Pewds said he wasn’t aware of E;R’s controversial content, but many found it irresponsible that he hadn’t looked further into the channel.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions.

Onision . . . Just in General

The Promotion of MysteryBrand

#1: Logan Paul in Aokigahara

In the history of YouTube scandals, the time Logan Paul filmed a suicide victim deserves a whole chapter. The video saw Paul and friends traveling into Japan’s infamous Aokigahara forest, well-known for its suicides. The group eventually came upon a corpse hanging from a tree, so they filmed the body, their reactions, and then actually uploaded it. The backlash was swift, with even well-known celebrities chiming in. Sophie Turner called him “an idiot,” and Aaron Paul said he should “rot in hell.” The scandal and Logan’s other antics eventually led to YouTube temporarily suspending advertising on his channels.

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