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Andy Signore Responds to Sexual Misconduct Allegations

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  • Andy Signore released a video on Monday addressing sexual misconduct allegations against him that surfaced nearly two years ago.
  • In the video, he apologized for making inappropriate comments to fans, but denied ever assaulting anyone.
  • He argued that his relationship with one of his accusers, April Dawn, was consensual.
  • Dawn later tweeted a response to the video and defended her previous claims.

Signore Accused of Misconduct

Screen Junkies creator Andy Signore has responded to sexual misconduct allegations and is maintaining that the assault claims against him are false. 

In 2017, Signore, who was at the time the Vice President of Content at Defy Media, which owned Screen Junkies before its collapse, was accused of sexual harassment and assault. One allegation came from a former employee named Emma Bowers. She identified herself as an intern working for copy credit and said that Signore sent her inappropriate messages complimenting her physical appearance.

 “Lol jacking it to you in your undies,” one message read. 

Another major allegation came from April O’Donnell who goes by April Dawn. Dawn was a fan of Signore and the Screen Junkies who said that Signore sexually assaulted her multiple times. She alleged that he tried to force a sex toy inside of her, took photos of her without her permission, and promised her a position at Screen Junkies for sexual favors. 

When she tried to report this to HR at Screen Junkies, she says they did nothing to help her. This claim was backed up in a statement by her boyfriend, who worked at Screen Junkies, as well as another Defy employee named Dani Fernandez.

Dawn said that Signore threatened her boyfriend’s job over the matter. She also found other women online who said they had received inappropriate messages from Signore in the past. 

These allegations resulted in Signore losing his job at Defy. In August 2018, he sued to the organization for claiming he was wrongfully fired. The lawsuit was settled in June. 

After the accusations came out, other stories brought to the surface painted a similar picture of Signore. In a 2018 interview, Roxy Striar, who worked at Defy under Signore, said that while she was never assaulted, she found his behavior crossed lines. 

“There were things that would happen through the years that I spoke about and was really, I didn’t speak about it publicly,” Striar said in an interview with Kristian Harloff.

“Uncomfortable,” Harloff asked.

“More than uncomfortable, really inappropriate,” she answered.

“He was a super, super inappropriate guy,” she later added.

Signore has denied ever harassing Striar. 

Signore Responds to Claims

On Monday, Signore posted a video titled “#MeToo Misfire – An Honest Defense of Andy Signore” in an effort to clear his name. He said that until now, he was not legally allowed to discuss the situation. 

“The truth is I did awkwardly flirt with and make inappropriate comments to some of my fans despite being married,” Signore admitted. “And in doing this I betrayed so many people that I love and respect. I put them into horribly awkward and uncomfortable positions. And I’m truly sorry for this behavior.” 

While he admitted to inappropriate flirting, he still denied ever assaulting anyone.

“These egregious claims labeling me a sexual predator, workplace harasser, and a rapist are categorically untrue,” Signore said. “And I do not want my family hounded forever by such malicious slander.” 

He claims his relationship with Dawn was consensual and referred to it as an affair. He showed text messages between to two to show the relationship was mutually founded. 

He says that they met at a comic con in 2015. In the messages, he claims the two are flirting. In one Dawn says thinks being his groupie would be fun. However, in some of the messages, it does appear that Signore is doing most of the flirting. He refers to her as a cute nerd girl, says he can’t stop thinking about her, and says he will regret not kissing her for the rest of his life. 

Screenshot via YouTube: Popcorned Planet.
Screenshot via YouTube: Popcorned Planet.
Screenshot via YouTube: Popcorned Planet.

Signore then addressed Dawn’s accusation that he took photos of her, and claimed it was false. He showed screenshots that show that Dawn had sent nude photos herself. 

Signore also said that while Dawn claimed she was invited out to Los Angeles to appear on Fan Cam, this was not the case. He said they planned this together, and that when she got to L.A., she sent him messages about hooking up. Based on the screenshots, it appears she invited him to her hotel room and mentions needing condoms.

After revealing this, he denied ever using sex toys in any of their encounters. 

Signore then continues to say in 2016, he received an email from Dawn saying she found messages he was sending her to be unacceptable. However, he claims he was not sending her anything. 

In the e-mail, Dawn says that she only went along with their relationship because she was concerned for her safety based on comments he made.

 “It honestly was at the point I was afraid to turn you down for anything and kept making excuses for you to not do anything to me,” Dawn wrote. 

Screenshot via YouTube: Popcorned Planet.

Dawn also requested that he stop calling her, and sending her texts, emails, gifts, and mail. She added that she was “truly afraid of the lengths you would go to get what you want.”

Signore replied saying he had not contacted her in a while and will continue to not do so.

He goes that when he learned Dawn took the matter to HR, he told them about the relationship and sent their correspondence even though it would jeopardize his marriage. He wanted to prove to HR that their relationship was consensual. He said that Dawn had given no evidence of his misconduct. He claims the reason HR never followed up on her complaint was because of his evidence.

Signore then accused Dawn of leading a charge against him. 

She began to look for anybody that she could find who had ever been a fan of the show to look for infidelities and other exchanges that she could use against me,” Signore claimed. “She was determined to have others join her in labeling me as a serial abusing rapist who was ready to assault the next woman in my path.” 

Dawn did not accuse him of being a rapist in her statement against him. 

After addressing the allegations from Dawn, he moved onto the ones from Bower, which he also claimed were false. He said that these events took place before Screen Junkies existed. He also said that Bowers was not an intern and was actually higher up than she implied. 

He then said that she sent him nude photos of herself and that he responded with compliments. However, they both agreed that the situation was awkward and mutually apologized. 

“I remain perplexed that Emma would inflate our indecent, comparing me to the criminal and abusive acts of Harvey Weinstein,” Signore said. 

He then adds that he believes the stories that Dawn and Bowers told made the flirtatious messages he sent to fans look way worse than they were. He shares a tweet that backs him up in part and reads: “His behavior is appalling but if anything the majority of these DMs just prove he’s a cheat, a bit of a creep and has zero game.”

He also includes this message from a girl who shared a screenshot of their interaction. 

“Never said I was harassed,” the girl states. “Just sharing my interactions with him. Like I said at the time, I thought it was all innocent.”

As for why he believes Dawn might fabricate this situation, Signore believes she wanted to use his status.

“I believe that she was using me for access to my brand,” Signore said. “And I believe that when I became unavailable, due to being married, she moved onto my colleague. And I believe that she didn’t want him to think that she was using him too.”

He adds that he thinks her accusation undermines real sexual assault victims and says.

“I’m not proud of many of the lousy decisions that I have made, but I committed no crimes,” he states towards the end of his video.

Statements About the Video

Rogue Rocket reached out to Signore for further comments about the situation. He again admitted that he made mistakes when speaking with fans. 

“At the time I had developed a warped idea in my mind that conflated fan support with romantic interest,” Signore told Rogue Rocket. “And that led me to make some poor choices in the realm of fan interaction. As has been documented, I crossed lines in that regard that I now very much regret.”

“While it has been devastating to be caught up in this movement as I have been, I am grateful for the opportunity to have become a better person,”
Signore added.

He also told Rogue Rocket about his intentions behind making the video. He said he never wanted to deny he did anything wrong, but said he did want to tell his side of the story. 

“I did not make my video to dispute any of that,” he said. “My priority is to clear my name of a wrongful sexual assault allegation that has cost me my reputation and my livelihood.”

Dawn responded to his video in a tweet. She stood by her allegations and maintained that she is telling the truth. 

“I was ready then and I’m ready now to take the hits, comments or criticism you can throw at me because at the end of the day I know my truth and what I did was right,” Dawn wrote. 

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Too Faced Co-Founder Condemns Sister’s Post Calling NikkieTutorials a Liar After Coming Out as Transgender

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  • Massive Beauty YouTuber NikkieTutorials came out as transgender in a new video that has been received with widespread praise.
  • However, fans were upset to learn that she was pushed to share her story after unnamed people threatened to leak the information to the press.
  • Too Faced Cosmetics then came under scrutiny when the cofounder’s sister made a snide comment about NikkieTutorials being a liar, continuing a long-running feud between the brand and beauty guru. 
  • The brand co-founder issued a statement condemning his sister’s behavior and said she is no longer employed by Too Faced.

Too Faced Apologizes

Too Faced Cosmetics co-founder Jerrod Blandino apologized Tuesday for his sister Lisa who called beauty YouTuber NikkieTutorials a liar hours after she came out as transgender.

“I would like to make sure it is understood that although I love my sister very much, the things she says or does have absolutely nothing to do with me and do not in any way reflect me, my opinions, thoughts, or feelings nor speak for me or Too Faced in any way shape or form,” Blandino wrote in a post on Instagram stories.

“I am sorry for the hurt she has caused…I do not tolerate this behavior and she is no longer an employee of Too Faced,” he added before expressing how proud he was of NikkieTutorials for sharing her truth.

His post was later shared across the brand’s official social media accounts.

“I’m Coming Out” 

The backlash against Too Faced came shortly after Nikkie de Jager, better known as NikkieTutorials, came out as transgender in an emotional 17-minute video posted Monday.

“I can’t believe I am saying this today to all of you, for the entire world to see, but damn it feels good to finally do it. It’s time to let go and be truly free,” de Jager said in the video titled “I’m Coming Out.”

“When I was younger I was born in the wrong body, which means that I am transgender,” she continued. 

The 25-year-old from the Netherlands, who has been posting on YouTube for 11 years, opened up about her childhood, explaining that she identified as female for as long as she can remember and began transitioning at a young age with the support of her mother.

De Jager said she had grown her hair out at the age of 6 and was wearing only girls clothing a year or two later. She started hormone treatments and growth stoppers at 14-years-old and “fully transitioned” by the age of 19. 

“I transitioned while on YouTube,” the beauty guru said. “And saying that right now seems so crazy to me because I have literally grown up and transformed into me in front of all of you.”

De Jager, one of YouTube’s top beauty creators who has amassed over 12 million subscribers, said she kept her story private for so long because she wanted to live free of labels and wanted her channel to focus on her art. 

However, she wanted to assure her fans that she is the same person they have loved and supported for years. “I am me. I am still Nikkie. Nothing changes about that,” she said. “The last thing I want in my life is for you to not trust me anymore, or to look at me with different eyes, or look at me in a different manner, or think that I have changed.”

Blackmail Attempt

While de Jager explained that she has always wanted to share her story with her audience, she admitted that she was doing so now after someone had threatened to pubically out her. 

“So today, I am taking back my own power and I have to tell you something,” she said before making her announcement.

Without ever naming who was behind the blackmail attempt, de Jager talked more about how it made her feel. 

“I have been blackmailed by people that wanted to leak my story to the press,” she said. “And at first it was frightening to know that there are people out there that are so evil that they can’t respect someone’s true identity. It is vile. It is gross and I know you are watching this.”

She claimed that those blackmailing her wanted to leak her story because they said she is lying and “too scared” to tell people who she really is. 

“I’m not scared,” she said directly to the camera before holding her middle finger up to the people who, “thought they could really mess up my life with that.” 

Praise from Fans 

De Jager’s announcement was met with widespread support from celebs, fans, and fellow YouTubers, many of whom were outraged at the fact that someone else had tried to leak her story.

Lisa Blandino Sparks Outrage

However, not everyone was supportive of the beauty guru. Twitter users and YouTube drama channels ready to defend de Jager against hate screenshotted a snide comment allegedly made by Lisa Blandino.

The screenshots showed that on her Instagram account @makupprincess, under the name Dani California, she changed her bio to: “Transgender huh? That’s not the only thing she’s been LYING about.”

Image
Source: @makupprincess

The comment appeared to signal a continuation of the long-running feud between the beauty star and Too Faced Cosmetics. 

In Shane Dawson’s docuseries about his collaboration with Jeffree Star Cosmetics, Star once again accused Too Faced of massively underpaying de Jager for her 2016 makeup collaboration with them. According to Star, she received a $50,000 flat fee for a palette that brought them in over $10 million.

While de Jagger has not openly discussed much about her profits on the palette, she has previously mentioned frustrations over the quality of the product.

After screenshots of Blandino’s comment spread across the internet, many became upset that someone would take such a sensitive moment as an opportunity to tear de Jager down and felt that regardless of any feud, the comment was insensitive.

Enraged social media users began calling Too Faced disgusting and transphobic and soon after, the @makupprincess account changed its bio to read: “Let’s be clear, I love trans people & dislike anyone who lies to hurt others! Period!”

Source: @makupprincess

The comment further enraged internet users went on to call for a boycott of the brand. Some even accused Too Faced of possibly being responsible for blackmailing de Jagger.

See what others are saying: (NBC News) (Insider) (E! News)

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Two of YouTube’s Highest Earners Are Kids

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  • Forbes released its annual list of top-earning YouTubers, placing 8-year-old Ryan Kaji at the top spot with $26 million and 5-year-old Nastya Radzinskaya at No. 3 with $18 million. 
  • The stars have brought new attention to the popularity of kids’ content on the platform just ahead of new policy changes that will impact ad revenue for it. 
  • Several familiar faces were also on the list, including Pewdiepie and Dude Perfect, however many were surprised to see Jake and Logan Paul edged out of the top 10.

Kids Earn Big 

Two of YouTuber’s highest-earning creators of 2019 are under the age of 10, according to the annual YouTube creator estimates from Forbes. 

8-year-old Ryan Kaji, star of the massively popular YouTube channel Ryan’s World (formerly Ryan ToysReview) earned himself the top spot for the second year in a row with an estimated $26 million, based on pretax figures from June 2018-June 2019. That’s a jump from the $22 million that put him at the top of last year’s list.

The second-biggest earner of the year is Dude Perfect, the sports entertainment group known for various trick shots, stunts, and battle videos. 

But 5-year-old Anastasia Radzinskaya is one creator on the list who is arguably turning the most heads. Radzinskaya, who moved to the U.S. from Russia in 2018, was born with cerebral palsy and doctors feared she might never be able to speak. To document her development through treatments, her parents decided to post videos of her so friends and family could watch her progress.

The videos started off as fairly ordinary child experiences like playdates with her dad or her pet cat, but she quickly gained a following from internet users all over the globe. Radzinskaya, who goes by Nastya or Stacy, now has a total of 107 million subscribers across her six different channels. Her most popular one, “Like Nastya Vlog” has 42 million alone. 

Nastya’s impressive following helped her bring in six-figure deals with brands like Legoland and Dannon, according to Forbes. Now she sits at No. 3 on their list with a whopping $18 million. 

Creators like Nastya and Ryan have opened people’s eyes to just how huge children’s content is on YouTube. Eyal Baumel, CEO of Yoola, a management company that specializes in digital stars including Nastya told Forbes, “YouTube is the most popular babysitter in the world.”

According to a Pew Research Center study done this year, videos with kids in them average almost three times as many views as other types of videos from high-subscriber channels. A separate study showed that 81% of parents with kids under 11 let them watch YouTube.

These young internet superstars, their parents, and the teams that represent them have made sure that their popularity transcends YouTube. Ryan for instance now has his own line of branded toys, clothing, and home goods that you can easily find at Target, Walmart, and Amazon. He also landed his own TV show on Nickelodeon and has a deal with Hulu to repackage his videos.

Nastya too will soon be launching a line of toys, a mobile game, and a book. 

Plans to expand to platforms outside of YouTube is probably a great idea of these child stars, especially as the potential for massive earnings on YouTube changes. In September, YouTube announced that it would be changing the way it displays ads on children’s content. 

The changes are meant to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act after the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James accused YouTube of illegally collecting personal information from children to show them targeted ads.

YouTube said it will remove personalized ads on kids’ content starting next year, but now many creators are worried that, along with their income, the changes could also impact other factors, like search results and recommendations. Others feel the FTC has not been specific enough about what YouTube should consider child-directed content and are worried about the future of their content. 

Who Else Made the List? 

As far as the remaining top earners, the list includes a comedy duo, several gamers, and one beauty mogul. Here are the remaining creators who made the top 10. 

  • #4 Rhett and Link – $17.5 million
  • #5 Jeffree Star: $17 million
  • #6 Preston (Preston Arsement) $14 million
  • #7 (tie) Pewdiepie (Felix Kjellberg)  $13 million
  • #7 (tie) Markiplier (Mark Fischbach) $13 million 
  • #9 DanTDM (Daniel Middleton) $12 million 
  • #10 VanossGaming (Evan Fong) $11.5 million 

As some have pointed out, Jake and Logan Paul are notably not on this year’s list, both of whom made last year’s top 10. Jake’s absence was particularly surprising since the YouTuber held the No. 2 spot in 2018 with $21.5 million while his brother placed 10th with $14.5 million. 

However, the Paul brothers have earned themselves a reputation for controversy and both stopped daily vlogging in mid-2018 to pursue other projects, so that likely had a huge impact on their annual YouTube revenue. 

See what others are saying: (Business Insider) (Variety) (BBC)

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Internet Reacts to Tana Mongeau Winning ‘Creator of the Year’ at the 2019 Streamy Awards

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  • Tana Mongeau beat out big creators like MrBeast and David Dobrik for the honor of “Creator of the Year” at this year’s Streamy Awards. 
  • Some, including YouTubers Peter Monn and Ethan Klien. were upset by the news and suggested that others were more deserving.
  • Others noted that the category is fan-voted and slammed critics for trying to discredit her win.

2019 Creator of the Year

YouTuber Tana Mongeau took home the coveted “Creator of the Year” award at Friday night’s Streamy’s ceremony to the surprise of many internet users and even Mongeau herself. 

The massive internet stars Mongeau beat out for the honor included Colins Key, David Dobrik, Emma Chamberlain, Lilly Singh, Loren Gray, MrBeast, Ninja, Safiya Nygaard, and Simply Nailogical.

“I don’t want to make a big deal out of this but it is not, it is not Davik Dobrik,”  fellow YouTuber Casey Neistat said before announcing the winner. 

“I’m sorry David, but you’ve won like every award tonight. It’s only fair,” Neitstat said to Dobrik, who had already picked up three Streamys for best First Person, Ensemble Cast (The Vlog Squad), and Collaboration (for a video with Kylie Jenner.)

“Give it to Tana,” Dobrik said before Neitstant confirmed that she was indeed the winner. 

Mongeau seemed completely shocked by the news. “I don’t feel like ‘Creator of the Year.’ I’ve never felt like ‘Creator of the Year.’ I feel like the misfit, the outcast, the fuck up. All of those things,” she said during her acceptance speech.

Just one year ago, Mongeau accepted the honor on behalf of Shane Dawson, who received widespread praise for his multi-part docuseries “The Truth About Tanacon,” Mongeau’s failed convention that hoped to rival Vidcon. 

“I think we can all agree this is the only time I’ll ever be holding a ‘Creator of the Year’ award,” she said at last year’s ceremony. 

Mongeau used this year’s full circle moment to thank Dawson. “I really just want to say thank you to the only people who saved my life and got me here and that is my fans and Shane Dawson.” 

“I never thought this would happen,” she added. “Here’s to all the people who don’t feel like ‘Creator of the Year,” she said while raising her Streamy in the air. 

Internet Reacts

Though Mongeau was met with cheers and applause at the ceremony, many internet users appeared to be upset by the news. 

While some were surprised that Dobrik did not take home the award, others felt the Streamy should have gone to MrBeast, who has recently made headlines for his massive campaign to plant 20 million trees around the globe. 

Popular drama YouTuber Peter Monn tweeted, “Mr Beast starts a project to plant 20,000,000 trees to help save the environment. Tana Mongeau has a failed MTV series & gets fake married and wins Creator of the Year. The Streamys are an absolute joke.”

Ethan Klien, of h3h3 productions, tweeted and deleted a sarcastic congratulatory post to Mongeau. “Thank you for being outrageously yourself and a positive role model for young people everywhere,” he wrote alongside two photos to suggest that Mongeau heavily edits her social media photos. 

Klien used the same side by side photos in a controversial video he made earlier this year about faking perfection online. “Well deserved!” he added in another post before removing the comparison photo.

But the most common question people had about Mongeau’s win was: “How?” 

Fan-Voted Award 

It’s not too surprising that many were outraged by Mongeau receiving the Streamy since she has been criticized as a bad influence on children and faced backlash over Tanacon, using the n-word, and charging her subscribers to watch the live steam of her wedding with Jake Paul, among other controversies.

However, many also noted that “Creator of the Year’ falls under the Audience Choice category, meaning that the award is fan-voted.

Many of her fans came to her defense online against those who felt she was undeserving.

“I wouldn’t discredit your favorite creator if they were the one that won, so please STOP discrediting mine & the rest of the fans that voted for tana,” one user tweeted. 

“@tanamongeau won because us, her fans, whose lives SHE impacted, voted for her. If you’re mad ur fav didn’t win why didn’t you vote? Stop saying she didn’t deserve to win when she won fair and square,” another wrote. 

Retweets and stand-alone tweets with a creator’s hashtag counted as votes for the category. According to Insider, Mongeau heavily campaigned for herself, unlike her competitors. If you look at the Streamy’s tweets for the nominees, posts for Mongeau have far more engagement in comparison to her competition. 

For instance, a post for Mongeau gathered over 2,000 retweets, while a similar one for MrBeast earned just over 100.

See what others are saying: (Insider) (Indy100) (ET Online)

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