“Why is my channel so much more heavily scrutinized than my piers?” he questioned.
Cory Kenshin Says He Won’t “Let it Slide”
YouTuber Cory Kenshin posted a video on Wednesday accusing the video platform’s automated systems and policy teams of racism and favoritism.
As of Thursday afternoon, the video had nearly 3.8 million views and was at the top of YouTube’s trending page. Kenshin said he has long felt YouTube has a bias against Black creators but did not feel comfortable calling it out.
“I never want to be that guy, ‘Oh, it’s cause I’m Black. These issues are happening because I’m Black,’” he said.
“This time, I can no longer let it side.”
Kenshin said a video he uploaded last week featuring the game “The Mortuary Assistant” was age-restricted, even though videos from other creators playing the same game were not. He opted to appeal YouTube’s decision, but his request was rejected.
He then reached out to his contact at YouTube, who allegedly suggested that his video was taken down because it included a character in the game who was battling depression.
Curious to see if he was the only YouTuber who featured this part, Kenshin continued to look at other people’s videos and found one by Markiplier that also included the same content. While he was not trying to bring Markiplier into the situation, he said the YouTuber’s channel served as “a great reference point” in this situation.
“A, you’re a really big YouTuber, and B, you’re not Black,” Kenshin said while addressing Markiplier in his video. “So I can look at your channel and look at my channel, or anyone else’s channel, and make sure the things and the games that you play, that they’re enforcing the rules equally to everybody.”
Kenshin said that Markiplier’s video was not age-restricted, so he again reached out to his YouTube contact to ask why his own video was targeted. Not long after this, the YouTuber said the age restriction on his video was lifted.
“They looked at Mark’s video, and used it to verify my innocence,” Kenshin claimed.
Shocked that the platform reversed its course even after denying his appeal request, Kenshin claimed he sent his YouTube representative an email saying he wanted to sit down with YouTube’s policy team because he felt racism and favoritism motivated their enforcement decisions.
Kenshin claims this was followed up with another reversal. In his video, he said that just a few days after his contact said he would bring this up with YouTube, YouTube re-restricted his video. They added an age restriction to Markiplier’s as well.
“They got caught with their pants down,” Kenshin said. “They got called out and then had to go back and say, ‘whoa, whoa, whoa, we see the narrative that he’s pushing there and we need to take some steps back, age restrict them both, and be done with it.’”
A History of Issues
Kenshin said he feels this is an issue he has dealt with constantly on YouTube. He claimed his channel is almost always hit right when it is starting to grow and he is gaining viewers.
“Why is my channel so much more heavily scrutinized than my piers?” he questioned.
“And it always just comes off like, ‘we can’t let this Black guy get too high up,’” he continued.
He went on to note that even though he cannot prove that race was a factor in this – and he is open to being wrong – in his gut, he felt that was the underlying issue.
“I believe there is some racism involved within the policy team and YouTube, in general, doesn’t really care about Black people,” he stated.
Just a few hours after the video was uploaded, Kenshin pinned a comment to it claiming that YouTube flagged it for “ad suitability.”
“I wonder why,” he wrote. “Surely it isn’t because it’s YouTube being shown in a poor light? Surely not.”
Kenshin’s video was met with massive support online, including from creators who also felt they had experienced racism via YouTube’s policy enforcement. YouTube has not publicly responded to the accusations.
Halyna Hutchins Family Settles With “Rust” Production, Filming to Resume in 2023
Alec Baldwin said everyone involved was motivated by the “desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son.”
The family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was fatally shot on the set of “Rust” last year, reached a settlement with the production over a wrongful death lawsuit on Wednesday.
The lawsuit was filed in February, several months after Hutchins’ death in New Mexico last October. The cast and crew were rehearsing a scene that involved producer and actor Alec Baldwin pointing a gun toward the camera. Baldwin claims he did not know it was loaded when it fired, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
The actor also claims he did not actually pull the trigger, but investigators determined it must have been pulled.
Hutchins’ husband Matthew filed the wrongful death suit on behalf of himself and his young son. It claimed that the production did not follow proper safety procedures and endangered the crew via reckless cost-cutting measures. Baldwin was listed as a defendant, as well as the set’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, first assistant director, Dave Halls, and others involved with the film.
The amount of the settlement was not disclosed, but as part of the agreement, the production of “Rust” will resume in January 2023. The late cinematographer’s husband will join the project as an executive producer.
“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” he said in a statement. “All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”
A Tribute to Hutchins
Souza will return as the director. In a statement, he said his “every effort on this film will be devoted to honoring” Hutchins.
For his part, Baldwin shared the news of the settlement on his Instagram Wednesday morning.
“Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son,” he wrote. “We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”
There is still an ongoing criminal probe happening separately from this lawsuit. It is unclear what impact the settlement will have on that, if any.
Last month, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies sent a letter to the New Mexico Board of Finance seeking additional funding to prosecute up to four people over the incident, including Baldwin. So far, no charges have been filed.
In April, the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau fined the production after it found multiple safety violations on set.
See what others are saying: (The Los Angeles Times) (The Hollywood Reporter) (Deadline)
The Try Guys Address Removal of Ned Fulmer: “We Had No Idea This Was Going On”
The group said that by severing ties with Fulmer, it felt like they were losing a friend.
“That Is Not What We Stand For”
Digital comedy and sketch group The Try Guys posted a video on Monday night explaining the recent removal of member Ned Fulmer.
Last week, the Internet was filled with speculation that Fulmer, who is married with children, was having an affair with a staffer for The Try Guys. Fulmer confirmed the reports, claiming he had a “consensual workplace relationship.” The Try Guys quickly announced that Fulmer would no longer be working with the group as the result of an internal review.
In Monday’s video, the remaining three members, Eugene Lee Yang, Zach Kornfeld, and Keith Habersberger, explained what led to their decision to remove Fulmer. While the trio noted there were legal issues that prevented them from sharing certain details, they wanted to be as transparent as possible.
“On Labor Day weekend, multiple fans alerted us that they had seen Ned and an employee engaging in public romantic behavior,” Habersberger explained. “We reached out to check on that employee and Ned confirmed the reports, and since confirmed that this had been going on for some time, which was obviously very shocking to us.”
He emphasized that the rest of the group “had no idea this was going on.”
After this, The Try Guys reached out to a variety of lawyers and HR professionals to make sure they handled the situation correctly.
“This is something we took very seriously,” Yang said. “We refused to sweep things under the rug. That is not who we are, and that is not what we stand for.”
Removing Fulmer From Content
They decided to immediately remove Fulmer from work activities and hired an HR rep to conduct a review. Fulmer was also withdrawn from releases pending the results of that review.
As part of this, his video section was erased, he was digitally taken out of some content, and he was not included in merch drops. The Try Guys said this was a long and tedious process.
“Honestly, I want to give major props to our editing staff for how deftly they handled that,” Kornfeld said. “There are several videos that we have deemed as fully unreleasable, you will never see them, and that is due to his involvement. And that is a decision that has cost us lots of money.”
“We will not be able to recoup that money,” he continued. “But it’s a decision we stand by proudly.”
The group declined to share details of the review but claimed it found that Fulmer engaged in “conduct unbecoming” of the team. Because of this, Yang, Kornfeld, and Habersberger gave written consent on Sept. 16 to ax Fulmer as a manager and employee of The Try Guys company.
The three said they were always planning to make a public statement about their decision, but were initially waiting out of respect to the families and employees involved. As online speculation arose, they chose to deal with it sooner.
“We’re losing a friend, we’re losing someone we built a company with, we have countless memories with, we just made a TV show together,” Kornfeld said. “I’m sure many of you feel the same way.”
According to the group, some upcoming videos featuring Fulmer will be edited to remove him. They said they are currently taking time to reimagine their channel.
Bruce Willis Denies Rumors He Sold His Likeness For Deepfake Use
Deepfakes face criticism from Hollywood to social media.
Willis Debunks Rumors
Actor Bruce Willis denied rumors over the weekend that he sold his likeness to the deepfake company DeepCake.
Willis agreed last year for his face to be used in a commercial for a Russian telecoms company. For this commercial, DeepCake digitally edited Willis’ face onto a Russian actor. This sparked rumors that Willis had sold the rights to his likeness for the company to use in future projects.
However, both management for Willis and DeepCake itself denied any partnership or agreement for these rights.
“Bruce couldn’t sell anyone any rights, they are his by default,” DeepCake said.
Agreements for the AI generation of actors have been heard of before, however. Recently, actor James Earl Jones agreed for his voice to be technologically generated for the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars franchise.
This comes as deepfakes are facing mounting criticism online, including from prominent YouTube personality and author, Hank Green. He recently tweeted about a channel that uses similar deepfake technology and AI-voice generation to parody popular YouTube creators. He stressed his concern that while the channel in question may not be nefarious, this technology could end up being harmful.
“There are ways to do this that would be much worse, more mean spirited, and more exploitative than this,” Green said. “And I’m very worried about what that will look like, because if this is working (and allowed), people will do it.”
Among other issues, Green mentioned these videos could abuse monetization and sponsorship opportunities while exploiting someone else’s face and brand. Green even implored YouTube to evaluate its terms of service as the popularity of deepfakes rise.