Posts tagged alex day
Posts tagged alex day
In a new video (http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tO-sqIoi_lQ), Vlogbrother Hank Green has announced three separate initiatives aimed at combating sexual assault.
In it, he discusses the societal factors involved in sexual assault and, using an unusual metaphor involving a kitten and a cruise missile, blames patriarchal standards and societal expectations of romance as being a significant part of the problem:
"I’m explaining culture but I’m not excusing the behaviour, when we’re set up to assume that the kitten is gonna run whether the kitten wants the cruise missile or not, that enables abuse"
Although not directly mentioned in the video itself, it comes in the wake of allegations of rape and sexual assault against Tom Milsom and Alex Day, popular YouTubers, musicians, and now former clients of Green’s record label DFTBA Records.
The community has been rocked for days by these credible and very serious allegations and multiple, prominent YouTubers have come out in support of the victims and -in Day’s case- even add their own statements of abuse.
At the time Green stated that “you cannot fix a problem if you cannot face a problem”and it seems that he and his brother, author John Green, now intend to back that up with concrete action.
The first of the initiatives is a task force composed of Nerdfighters, the name used to describe their channels community of subscribers, and actual survivors of rape and sexual assault.
Neither of the Greens has yet released any information on what the exact role and activities of this task force will be. It will presumably be involved in online advocacy and, this is pure unwarranted speculation, may have have some form of involvement in this years VidCon.
The brothers will be producing and funding a series of videos that discuss sexual abuse, consent and relationships, particularly within the context of the digital age and modern communication, citing Skype as an example.
It is not known who will be presenting them.
The vlogbrothers will be partnering with an as-yet unnamed number of established rape and sexual assault organisations and charities to “bring their work and their resources into our community and hopefully into other online communities as well”
While some of this information may seem vague it is worth noting the very short time frame in which these projects have been drawn up, it seems likely that new information and a deeper level of detail will be made public when the projects have been more fully developed.
It’s been 2 days since allegations against Tom Milsom, and later former Sons of Admirals bandmate Alex Day, were made and the YouTube community is still deeply in shock.
Further accusations of sexual and emotional manipulation have been made about Day (http://nephiesworld.tumblr.com/post/79482695900/couldnt-sleep-wanted-to-rant-too-for-the-final-time), travel blogger Nephelia has released a statement alleging that he and his cousin, Sopio card co-creator Danny, traveled to her house and that it lead to things happening that she did not consent to:
"I stupidly shared a bed with Alex because he was holding my hand and I thought that was just gonna be it […] I’d never experienced anything like that before, especially when someone kind of ends up on top of you in the dark"
Furthermore, referring to Day’s cousin Danny and an un-named person, she states that:
“I had to listen to people who were 11 years apart having underage sex”
She also adds further credence to the theory that this was a long standing pattern of abuse by Day and a significant problem within the YouTube community as a whole, saying that:
“Alex texted Danny something along the lines of “which one do you want” because apparently he got first choice the last time this happened”
"when I first met Lindsey and I told her I had only been hanging out with youtubers for a few months, she told me to run away as fast as I could, and she was right. She was always right about that"
Shockingly, she says that none other than Vlogbrother John Green himself may have had suspicions about Day for years:
"John Green’s been warning girls after they have been in videos with Alex about him for the past few years"
"I used to be really good friends with Kim and she was in contact with John on skype and stuff, and after she was in a video with him (the test thingy one) John kind of gave her a warning about hanging out with him"
Day’s New Statement
Day has released a further statement (http://that-alexday.tumblr.com/post/79505198461/on-consent), apparently admitting to violating people’s lack of consent:
"Until yesterday, I thought that I had had only appropriate, though occasionally manipulative relationships with women. However, the model of consent that I followed, not that I specifically thought about it at the time - was that only “no” meant “no.” That is not what consent is."
Confusion and False Accusations
Despite valuable contributions from people who have collated as much valid information together as they can (http://unpleasantmyles.tumblr.com/post/79455706244/heres-the-post-olga-made-about-tom-milsom-and) in many cases confusion has ruled the day, posts asking for any information at all fill the tags of many prominent YouTubers.
This has not been helped by completely fabricated accusations directed at Tyler Oakley and popular bloggers and now radio presenters Dan and Phil. Both sets have now either been recanted and removed by the author or outright disproven.
Frustration has even been directed at Vlogbrother Hank Green, his previous silence over the matter and Day’s as of then continued presence on the DFTBA website, in contrast to the almost immediate disowning of Tom Milsom after the original allegations were made against him, has prompted accusations of a lack of transparency.
In response, he said that:
"I am proud and honored that people look to me for guidance and I take that responsibility very seriously. Because I take it so seriously, and because so many people look to me, I have a responsibility to act carefully and productively"
"I didn’t mean to say that I was burying this and that the silence was the “appropriate” action. I meant to say that I am spending every second of this day working toward appropriate action, but I think that there is little to no value in reacting immediately when it is likely that further information is on the way"
Prominent, longstanding YouTube vlogger and musician Lex Croucher and vlogger and LifeScouts designer Lindsey (known as Pottermoosh) have issued statements in the light of his denial of the previous anonymous statements made against him.
Their statements both directly conflict with Day’s assertion that “At no point in my life have I ever undertaken any romantic activity, sexual or otherwise, without being sure the other person wanted it”
In them they also echo very specific details included in the anonymous allegations, such as Day asking one anonymous accuser to sleep in his bed with him, kissing them against their wishes and even a particular question, word for word
"they both sound like I could have written them, aside from a few specific details. I definitely feel like I was manipulated emotionally by him and coerced into doing stuff that he was in no way 100% sure that I wanted to do. He used the ‘Can we skip the part where you say no for an hour before anything happens?’ line on me too"
"Alex kissed me, and I stopped him and told him I didn’t want to as I was recently getting over a break-up and wasn’t ready. I told him I just needed him to be my friend. Alex ignored this, and continued to try to kiss me despite what I’d said. He later asked me to sleep in his bed and was very frustrated with me when I refused"
In a private conversation with Croucher today, in light of his denial of the anonymous allegations against him, he apparently has expressed his own idea of what he feels consent to mean. A definition that flies in the face of that accepted legally and societally:
"[He] clarified that actually it wasn’t a contradiction, because despite the fact that I made it clear I wasn’t consenting to a kiss, in his mind he was still sure I wanted it because he thought my reasons for saying no were something he could ‘make me feel better about’ or that I ‘did want it, but just needed help getting that issue out of the way’"
It remains to be seen whether there will be more statements made alleging that Day has applied his apparent ideas of “consent” to them, but it is certain that what has already been said will constitute a damning verdict in the eyes of many and will increase calls for Day to be removed from the community in much the same way that other YouTubers like Tom Milsom, Mike Lombardo, Kelly Montoya and Eddplant have been after similar allegations were made against them.
Facing the Problem
It also further emphasises questions of whether the concept of YouTube celebrity and the general culture surrounding it has allowed a atmosphere conducive to abuse to develop and what can possibly be done to combat that in the future.
Founder of VidCon and prominent early Vlogger Hank Green has said that “you cannot fix a problem if you cannot face a problem”.
What facing the problem will mean for the community is unclear, but it cannot be allowed to become empty words.
Presumably sparked by yesterday’s revelations of sexual abuse allegedly committed by YouTube musician Tom Milsom against his then underage former girlfriend Olga, three anonymous blogs making similar allegations against fellow Sons of Admirals singer and vlogger Alex day have subsequently surfaced.
One account states that Day sexually assaulted her when she was just 14 and that he then subsequently stalked her over the course of a year or more, another account states that he assaulted her while she was sleeping and emotionally manipulated her into staying with him and accepting his unwanted advances.
The last simply says that he used her to cheat on his current girlfriend and mislead her about the relationship.
The blogs have thus far not provided any specific contextual information, corroboration or evidence of the alleged assaults.
Day has since made a post on his tumblr (http://that-alexday.tumblr.com/post/79388676278/on-mistakes) acknowledging and explicitly denying the allegations, saying that:
"At no point in my life have I ever had a sexual relationship with someone under the age of consent. (For full disclosure, I’ve said publicly that I lost my virginity at age fourteen, but the girl in question was sixteen - the UK age of consent - so this point stands.) At no point in my life have I ever undertaken any romantic activity, sexual or otherwise, without being sure the other person wanted it"
He added that:
"Ultimately, the decision to believe me, or continue to support my work, is yours alone"
The reaction to the allegations has been mixed, with some coming out in direct support of the anonymous blogs, saying that the accusations against Milsom convinced survivors to come forward, as sometimes happens in such cases, while others have questioned the authenticity and motives of their statements.
Unlike Tom Milsom, no prominent YouTubers have denounced him so far and his work remains firmly in place on the DFTBA records website.
Also in contrast to Day, Milsom has released no statement on the allegations made against him.
[This post will be updated with any new information that becomes apparent, all updates will be described here]
^ The gold plated play button, reports of it going *ting* when looked upon are as of yet unconfirmed.
The new rewards system -which attendees of this years VidCon got a sneak peek at- was officially unveiled just over a week ago.
It consists of a gold plated play button for those who have reached at or above a total of 1,000,000 subscribers and the thing is framed in a way reminiscent of gold or platinum records.
There’s good stuff in here for the slightly less mammoth creators too. Those who have reached 100,000 subs get a 500 dollar gift card and a custom DSLR bag.
It’s actually not unusual for social media personalities and organizations to receive awards based within an online genre or even a single website.
They focus exclusively on web series; still a pretty small industry despite the large audience growth and acceptance into mainstream culture that it’s made in recent years.
What’s different about these rewards is that they’re given exclusively on the basis of numbers.
^ Look familiar?
The reception among big YouTubers has been largely positive and tends to break up into those who are still a bit too small to qualify for the gold and have a hungry look in their eyes.
"I want one, my house mate Charlie. He’s got a million subscribers. He just sits at his desk just across the room from me with his gold…plate….thing. I do just want to put more effort into my videos and make them more worthwhile" - Alex Day
and those who are grateful for the recognition but have some concerns
"I love it because it feels like a thank you…a thank you to the people who have invariably worked extremely hard to achieve that level of success. And it’s important for YouTube to recognize that those people play a large part in the success of YouTube"
"The fact is that most of the people doing really interesting things, who have the most potential to grow, to change things, to continue altering the landscape of media, and who I am fascinated by do not have 1,000,000 subscribers" - Hank Green
"I’m flattered, since i am in the 100,000 category - but saddened by all the incredibly talented and hardworking people going un-thanked, the ones who don’t quite have that many subscribers but still make huge contributions to this community daily" - Kristina Horner
They aren’t the only ones to focus on the smaller channels.
One thing brought up repeatedly in the comments on the official announcement, on twitter and other sites where the discussion has taken place is that the awards do nothing for smaller partners and creators.
The awards themselves arent the main issue here however. It’s a sense of continued and growing frustration with YouTube -spawning movements like the #SaveYouTube campaign- its policies and the general attitude of the site as a whole.
A lot of the ways in which bigger creators got a leg up in the past simply don’t exist any more or have been redirected towards already popular channels.
Stuff like getting featured on the main page or appearing in the recommended videos section and although the community has gone a long way in picking up the slack there’s always going to be people who slip through the sizeable cracks.
When taken together with things like the new London Creator Space and programs like YouTube Next Vlogger and NextUp a picture forms of a business trying to consolidate its gains and standardise skills and pathways to success in an industry where technical proficiency can vary from the profound to the mediocre.
It could well be a risky move, there’s a good chance it may simply limit creativity, create a stiff model for how creators should work and interact with their audience that could stunt them in the long term and make the industry even harder to break into.
Then again it might usher in a new generation of ultra-proficient creators while improving the already substantial profiles of the people who did it the old fashioned way.
Damned if I know, feel free to have your say though.
^ An attractive idea, sure, but will it blend?
Following the recent high profile adaptation of the “Annoying Orange” web series to cartoon network you could be forgiven for thinking that YouTubers were lining up around the block to have their content featured on the screen that -for better or worse- still dominates the worlds consumption of audio-visual media.
Just this week, however, the people behind two of the most influential YouTube channels Hank and John Green of VlogBrothers and Alex Day of Nerimon have individually spoken out about their reasons for rejecting TV and major record labels respectively.
In a tumblr post John Green explained why the Vlogbrothers had never made a television show
A lot of it boils down to the limited creative freedom offered; often you’re working with other peoples money and unless you have a track record paved with melted down emmy awards they’re going to want a say in how it’s spent.
Despite the fact that they may have next to no knowledge in what does or doesn’t succeed.
"In one conversation with an anonymous cable network, an exec said to us, Crash Course would be PERFECT if you were a little less nuanced and stuck to topics that interest people. Like, you know, Hitler and sex.”
Even the creator of Annoying Orange Dane Boedigheimer has no illusions about the rigidity of the development process in network television
"If we’d taken this to a traditional network we’d still be talking about ‘Who’s gonna play Annoying Orange?’ and ‘How do we make him less annoying?’"
Day in particular has no love for the behemoth of traditional media; his recent crusade against the major labels in the form of chart success has been well publicised.
Another massive factor for YouTubers is the effect any projects might have on their communities of viewers and/or listeners.
"if we were on TV, I worry we’d lose that sense of connection, which Hank and I have enjoyed so much the last five and a half years. Like, the Sherlock fandom and the Doctor Who fandom are great communities, but they are about Sherlock and Doctor Who. Nerdfighteria isn’t about Hank or me”
The ability of viewers to comment on videos, to read the tweets and tumblr posts of people whose content they enjoy and then be able to respond and have them respond back is something traditional media simply can’t compete with.
Albums Are Dead
Even the formatting of some forms of media are coming under question; In a somewhat less than critical article by Forbes Magazine Day says
"Albums are dead as far as I can tell. The concept of an album seems redundant when you can cherry-pick any individual track you like on iTunes anyway. Putting out singles means each song has its own artwork and its own video; it gets its time to shine"
Singles are certainly a stronger format than albums. In 2011 sales of singles rose for the fourth successive year in the UK 177.9 million copies, versus 86.6 million in 2007.
However, it’s seems unlikely that the desire to blend a group of songs into a creative whole greater than the sum of its parts will ever really go away.
The true fans will always enjoy listening to an album the whole way through, listening out for common themes and tones of emotion and discussing them with others.
Whether they do that on a laptop at 3am while browsing tumblr or listening to a 12” vinyl in a dark and smoky room is kind of superfluous.
^ Are big studio albums like Abbey Road a thing of the past?
There’s also the small matter of YouTubers quite reasonably thinking “well, why should I?”. You don’t find yourself in a phone conversation with a high level exec unless you’ve already gained a large amount of success already.
In a time of increasing competition in an already crowded marketplace dividing your attention and creative energies could be a fatal move.
There’s always the chance that you could alienate your current subscriber base and gain almost nothing for your efforts.
So are we going to see YouTubers increasingly collaborating with the giants of traditional media or are they going to stick with what they know?
More of both probably.
Some will decide to steer clear of traditional media and the people who control it regardless of how many lucrative deals are dangled under their collective nose; others will embrace it wholeheartedly.
It’s likely that most however will decide purely on a case by case basis, cherry picking the opportunities that appeal to them.
In that case the gatekeepers of the TV and music industries are going to have to work a lot harder and be a lot more flexible if they want to infuse their industries with the creative energy that abounds on sites like YouTube.
I swear to god if I have to type the words “traditional media” one more time I’m going to hack my hands off with a rusty penknife.
Or perhaps more accurately, they’ve arrived.
It’s safe to say that things haven’t been going as originally planned during the execution of the “Exceptionally Ordinary Variety Tour” and this is particularly true of the line up.
Alex Day has backed out of the tour completely, his reasons for doing so are unclear; the official announcement simply states that he will be leaving “to pursue other ventures in his career” implying that he has something more important to attend to and that it’s probably work related.
Whether that means his career on YouTube or his music career is unknown.
His own statement was even less obliging saying simply that
"I can’t go on the tour"
and that fans shouldn’t
"think of it as losing me; think of it as gaining Tom"
Tom Milsom and Eddplant
Long time YouTube musicians Tom Milsom and Eddplant have quickly stepped in to take Day’s place. Milsom will be performing at every stop on the tour while Eddplant will be performing at the Anaheim show only.
This will have eased the minds of the tours organizers who -while undoubtedly having a dedicated fanbase- lack the sheer numbers to sell out a tour like this.
Milsom’s nearly 100,000 subscribers and Eddplant’s 44,000 will fill the hole left by Day.
Whether it will be enough to console the Nerimon fans who chipped in to the Kickstarter campaign in hopes of seeing Day perform on stage outside of Vidcon is another matter altogether.
The tours official statement on the matter read that
"He [Alex Day] wishes to express the deepest of apologies to his fans that donated money to the Exceptionally Ordinary kickstarter campaign, expecting to see him on the tour"
To heap even more troubles on the shoulders of organizer and show runner in chief Todd Williams perhaps the most varietous act of what is still, essentially, a variety tour has been thrown into doubt.
Professional stunt woman and daily vlogger Cassandra Croft A.K.A NerdzRL may be unable to attend due to an unforeseen work opportunity
"It’s not set in stone, in saying that I am sorry. I’m on standby for the tour. I hope most of you understand that this is something, stunts is something I wanna do and that’s why I chose this opportunity."
Your 45% Vicious Journalist 55% Chinese Take-Out Editor
One week ago YouTube musician Alex Day launched his new single “Lady Godiva” (a re-imagining of the Peter and Gordon single) utilising the same platform so successfully used in the promotion of his Christmas charity single “Forever Yours” which charted at #4 in the UK.
"I would be really over the moon if you could consider getting lady godiva and some of the remixes on itunes and then we can show the major labels that the world dosen’t need them any more; we are the ones in control and we can make this work."
While it didn’t reach quite the same heights as “Forever Yours” “Lady Godiva” earned a respectable #15 in the UK charts. Some however have questioned the motivations behind his release of the single and the way in which he’s promoted it.
Fellow YouTube musician and personal friend of Alex Day Tom Milsom questioned why Day felt the need to gain a chart position in the first place and pointed out that if everyone bought the original and the various remixes (a loop hole in the charts Day has exploited to boost his chart placing) fans would spend almost seven times the amount asked by large record labels.
Although Day did make it clear that he felt fans should only buy the single if they liked it, it’s clear that the motivation for its style of release was the desire to make a point to “doubters” and major record labels.
"The thing is ever since christmas all i’ve been hearing is ‘you can’t do this again, you guys [the fans] are just bored, you don’t really care, forever yours was just a one off novelty and it won’t happen again’ "
"we will show the doubters of the world [that] we are not meaningless we are brilliant"
Day is undoubtedly a pioneer among YouTube musicians in gaining chart positions as well as recognition from the press. However, it remains to be seen if his highly independent style of release will be utilised by the YouTube musician community as they gain notoriety.