- YouTuber Cole Carrigan posted a video where he claimed his friend and another woman were sexually assaulted by Austin McBroom, his basketball player friend, and his father.
- McBroom is part of the Ace Family, which has over 17 million subscribers on YouTube.
- Carrigan’s video also included screenshots to show that the women had met with McBroom, along with a photo of blood on the bedsheets after alleged forced penetration, and an anonymous phone call with one of the alleged victims.
- The story prompted #AceFamilyisOverParty to trend on Twitter. McBroom addressed the situation himself online denying the allegations and claiming he is a victim of extortion, defamation, and slander.
Accusations in Video
Family vlogger and patriarch of the Ace Family Austin McBroom, his father, and other acquaintances, have been accused of sexual assault in a new video posted by YouTuber Cole Carrigan.
Carrigan uploaded a 15-minute video titled “The Truth About The Ace Family..” on Monday. He opened by discussing the recent rumors about McBroom cheating on his wife, Catherine Paiz, before saying the allegations go further than just infidelity.
Carrigan claimed that his friend and another woman were assaulted by McBroom and several people he knew. He claimed he was making the video on behalf of them because they signed an NDA and because it is difficult to bring allegations forward against a prominent man.
According to Carrigan, the two girls had been drinking when they went back to their room to change. McBroom, his security guard, father, and two friends followed them back.
“Obviously I don’t have recordings of what went down in the room,” Carrigan said, “but my friend told me that she repeatedly said ‘no’ multiple times over and over to the point where she started crying and begging them to stop. That’s when they forced themselves in her and I will insert the photos of the blood all over the bedsheets in the hotel room right here.”
He included a photo that showed bloodstains on sheets as potential evidence that the intercourse was forced.
He also called his friend so she could tell her story, though she was not named and her voice was distorted to hide her identity. She also said that she and another woman had walked to their room and that the group had followed them there.
She claimed that the guys were being flirty, but she and the other girl were too under the influence to push them off.
She said that one of McBroom’s friends had sex with her without her consent and that McBroom’s father tried to force her to perform oral sex.
“But the next thing I remember is, unfortunately, being on the bed and his NBA player friend was having sex with me,” she said. “I don’t ever remember giving him consent to. The next thing I remember is looking up and Austin’s dad Allen is there and I am seeing him unbuckle his pants, pull down his pants, and pull out his penis in front of my face, basically wanting me to suck his penis.”
She went on to say that around then, the security guard walked in and she went to check in on her friend.
“All of a sudden I hear her yelling ‘no’ and screaming and crying,” she said. “And all of the guys start rushing around the room because my friend is literal hysterical crying and sobbing and she’s just sitting in the shower. Then after that we just got in bed and we were just crying for the rest of the night.”
Carrigan’s video also included several screenshots to show that his friends had met with McBroom. There were screenshots that show McBroom and his father in Miami on June 21, the night before the incident.
There were also screenshots of texts Carrigan claims were sent the following morning. The first was to one of McBroom’s friends, where the girls seemed disinterested in communicating. The video alleges that the two girls had been hiding in their room when they first received the messages.
Another showed one of the girls reaching out to her ex in Miami and beginning to explain the situation.
Carrigan also showed screenshots of his friend allegedly texting McBroom about what girls he wanted to be brought to Miami.
Another screenshot allegedly showed McBroom’s assistant telling Carrigan’s friend to not let the story out because there could be “serious consequences.”
There were also screenshots Carrigan said came from girls who told him they had their own inappropriate interactions with McBroom. In one, it appears someone is accusing McBroom of impregnating them. These allegations are unverified.
The video ended up generating a lot of online chatter, with #AceFamilyIsOverParty trending on Twitter. Many used the hashtag to express their disgust in the story.
More also shared screenshots of their alleged encounters with McBroom.
While some shared them online, others doubted their legitimacy. Paiz tweeted that she did not know who was worse: “The person who photoshops conversations OR the people who believe it?” She accompanied this tweet with what appears to be a fake interaction between her and Kanye West.
Another screenshot that, again, is unverified allegedly came from one of the girls in the story, Leslie. Users said she had posted her side of the story to Instagram before deleting it.
She posted a notes app message where she discusses Carrigan’s video, which she says was made with ill intent, and also identifies the other alleged victim in it as Amanda.
“I feel like this video was made for the wrong reasons and this wasn’t Cole’s story to tell,” she wrote. “Cole even texted me saying we could potentially get paid $100,000 from this following the claim that Drama alert was payed off $500k.”
This refers to Carrigan claiming that Drama Alert’s Keemstar was going to post a video on the topic but was paid $500,000 not to. Keemstar denies this and posted his own video on Tuesday.
Leslie went on to say that McBroom did not rape her and was not to blame.
“I wasn’t aware Amanda or Cole were in contact with drama alert to anonymously run our story,” the alleged post continued. “But I was aware of Cole’s video being made, and I only wanted it to be factual if it was ever going to be posted. I wanted to say that Austin McBroom is not to blame in the situation and did not rape me or anyone. I’m currently handling this situation in my own way. I brought this to social media to address false accusations. This isn’t what I wanted, there’s several sides to every story and this isn’t how I wanted to tell mine.”
The post also included a screenshot of what appears to be a text from Carrigan saying they could be paid $100,000 not to tell the story and that they could all split it.
On Tuesday morning, McBroom responded to the allegations. He shared Leslie’s screenshots and released a statement claiming he was a “victim of extortion, defamation, and slander.”
“I knew this was a cold world but never did I foresee something this disturbing upon me,” he wrote. “Thank you to all of my Ace Family members for all of your concerns and thank you to those who know my character and my heart. I don’t wish this upon anyone and I can only hope that those responsible for this learn from their mistakes and become better people. My family and I dealing with this matter privately and taking legal action. Bullying, extortion, slander and defamation of charterer is something I will not stand for and I can promise that justice will be served.”
See what others are saying: (Newsweek) (Distractify) (Daily Dot)
Pokémon, Star Wars & Candy Crush: How DLCs & Microtransactions Changed The Gaming Industry
While DLC’s (downloadable content) and microtransactions are a commonly accepted practice in the gaming community, they are also still highly controversial. Some lawmakers around the world have even condemned these types of business models, likening them to child-targeted gambling. In the United States, Republican Senator Josh Hawley has proposed a bipartisan bill that would ban a type of microtransaction in games aimed at minors.
The topic of DLC’s and microtransaction is also a hot topic among fans, with many saying that while these features can help a game, a lot of times, they feel like companies abuse these practices. We want to know: What are YOU, as a consumer, willing to pay for?
Appeals Court Rules YouTube Can Censor Content in PragerU Case
- A federal appeals court ruled YouTube is not subject to the First Amendment and can censor content on its platform as part of a long-running lawsuit filed by conservative nonprofit PragerU.
- The lawsuit alleged that YouTube demonetized and limited some of PragerU’s videos because it is biased against conservatives.
- PragerU called the move censorship and discrimination, arguing that YouTube should be treated like the government, not a private company, in matters of free speech.
A federal appeals court in California ruled that privately-owned tech companies like YouTube are not bound to the First Amendment and can censor content.
The decision comes from a 2017 lawsuit against YouTube and its parent company Google that was filed by PragerU, a nonprofit headed by Dennis Prager. The company filed its complaint after YouTube demonetized and restricted some of its videos.
PragerU accused YouTube of being biased against conservative views, arguing that the decision amounted to discrimination and censorship. The lawsuit claims that YouTube had intentionally demonetized and restricted the videos “as a political gag mechanism to silence PragerU.”
The lawsuit also argued that YouTube regulates free speech on a “public forum,” and so it should be subject to the same scrutiny that the government is under the First Amendment.
To argue this point, the lawsuit cited the Supreme Court case Marsh v. Alabama. In that case, the court ruled that a Jehovah’s Witness had the right to give out leaflets in a town fully owned by a corporation.
A District judge dismissed the lawsuit in March 2018. In her decision, Judge Lucy Koh cited a more recent Supreme Court ruling in Lloyd Corp. v. Tanner, where the court decided that a mall could ban people from distributing anti-Vietnam War fliers on its property.
In that ruling, the Supreme Court also clarified that Marsh v. Alabama could be only be applied to the town in the case.
On Wednesday, a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Koh’s decision, again ruling against PragerU.
“Despite YouTube’s ubiquity and its role as a public-facing platform, it remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment,” Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote in the panel’s decision.
“PragerU’s claim that YouTube censored PragerU’s speech faces a formidable threshold hurdle: YouTube is a private entity. The Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government— not a private party— from abridging speech.”
In their decision, the appellate judges pointed to a Supreme Court ruling from last year, where the highest court found that, “merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.”
The judges also shot down a claim that YouTube was guilty of false advertising.
A YouTube spokesperson defended the social media platform and its parent company in a statement following the court’s ruling.
“Google’s products are not politically biased,” the spokesperson said. “PragerU’s allegations were meritless, both factually and legally, and the court’s ruling vindicates important legal principles that allow us to provide different choices and settings to users.”
PragerU, however, appears to believe the fight is not over.
“Obviously, we are disappointed,” the organization’s lawyer told the Wall Street Journal. “We will continue to pursue PragerU’s claims of overt discrimination on YouTube in the state court case under California’s heightened antidiscrimination, free-speech and consumer-contract law.”
But many have noted, that the ruling was not unexpected at all. According to the Journal, no court has supported PragerU’s legal argument, as it is widely accepted that free speech constraints are applied only to the government and not private entities.
The argument that social media companies like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook should be pinned to the First Amendment is one that has been growing more and more prominent, especially among conservative circles.
Those who support this argument often believe that certain efforts by large tech companies to regulate content on their platforms are tantamount to censorship.
These arguments are almost certainly going to remain in the polarizing political discourses around free speech and social media. However, as the Journal argues, the appellate court’s decision is “the most emphatic rejection of the argument advanced in some conservative circles that YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other giant tech platforms are bound by the First Amendment.”
See what others are saying: (The Wall Street Journal) (Ars Technica) (The Washington Examiner)
James Charles Faces Backlash for Impersonating Latin TikTok Character, Rosa
- Fans of the beloved TikTok star known as Rosa are slamming James Charles for uploading an impersonation that included the Latin character’s stereotypical accent.
- Some felt it was wrong for a non-Latino person to impersonate the character, while others argued that it’s commonly done across the app.
- Amidst the drama, Adam Martinez, the creator behind the character, seemingly tried to calm fans by saying that his videos are meant to bring joy to people around the world.
After much backlash, YouTuber James Charles took down a Snapchat video of himself impersonating Latin TikTok star @adamrayokay’s alter ego, Rosa.
For those who aren’t aware, 20-year-old Adam Martinez’s Rosa character is essentially an exaggerated comedic stereotype of a young Latina. Rosa videos are usually filmed as if she were speaking to someone, which allows room for viewers to upload their own take on the scene using TikTok’s duet feature or the original audio.
The specific Rosa video that James was attempting to recreate is captioned: “POV: Rosa finds out her 8th period partner is gay.” It features Rosa explaining to her fellow classmate why she suspected he was gay.
In his Snapchat, James attempted to replicate that TikTok while putting on Rosa’s accent, a move that many felt crossed a line.
Some called the impersonation disrespectful and even racist. Others noted that there is a major difference between a member of a community making jokes about stereotypes as opposed to outsiders doing it.
fact that most of us know ppl who are like rosa and marlene etc. we grew up with them in the neighborhood or in family, in school. for us its all love but james charles is just icky so im not about it. feels more like mocking and rejoicing in stereotypes tbh— jenna vélez (@northernbruja) February 25, 2020
Rosa is pretty well-loved on the app and has quickly helped Martinez shoot to over 2.5 million TikTok followers since first posting as the character in December 2019. Latin creators who post Rosa duets have also been met with support and have been affectionately dubbed members of the “Rosa Cinematic Universe” by viewers. So it’s not uncommon to see people upload their own responses or takes on the character’s scenes.
Because of Rosa’s popularity, many have defended James for recreating a character that tons of others online also impersonate.
However, some argued that James’ version is slightly different in nature, aside from the fact that he isn’t Latino. Rather than mouthing over the original audio of the clip or responding in his normal voice using the duet feature, James specifically used an accent.
The conversation then shifted to whether or not impersonating the character’s accent was any different than lipsyncing the audio. Others said any non-Latino’s impersonating Rosa is wrong and should stop.
Each and every single non-Latin doing this impression are wrong, he just so happened to be the one with the biggest following. This is problematic as the fake thick accent he did as a WHITE person is the same Hispanic speaking people are bullied, harrased and even killed for…— flujo laminar (@TitiMtz) February 26, 2020
Adamrayokay Attempts to Calms Fans
Without specifically mentioning the drama, Martinez tweeted about the purpose of his videos in an apparent attempt to alleviate the tension. “My videos are made to bring JOY to people all around the world,” he wrote. “Let’s remember that keep the positivity going!!!”
“Love u,” James responded to the post.
James later sent out a tweet that many assumed was, at least in part, related to all of the backlash. “I get that a lot of people don’t like me. I’ve learned to accept & understand it – but the extent that some people on this app are willing to go in attempt to ruin my life is truly sad,” he wrote.
“I hope one day people find a way to feel validation without having to bash others for likes.”