On Tuesday, YouTube announced that it will not be banning BlazeTV’s Steven Crowder from publishing on its platform after Vox’s Carlos Maza reported the conservative comedian for making jokes about his ethnicity and sexuality.
YouTube announced the findings of its “investigation” concerning Crowder in replies to Maza on social media, posting the following in a tweet thread (emphasis added):
“Thanks again for taking the time to share all of this information with us. We take allegations of harassment very seriously–we know this is important and impacts a lot of people. Our teams spent the last few days conducting an in-depth review of the videos flagged to us, and while we found language that was clearly hurtful, the videos as posted don’t violate our policies. We’ve included more info below to explain this decision: As an open platform, it’s crucial for us to allow everyone–from creators to journalists to late-night TV hosts–to express their opinions w/in the scope of our policies. Opinions can be deeply offensive, but if they don’t violate our policies, they’ll remain on our site. Even if a video remains on our site, it doesn’t mean we endorse/support that viewpoint. There are other aspects of the channel that we’re still evaluating– we’ll be in touch with any further updates.”
Maza was none too pleased that Crowder escaped the corporate censorship for which he so desperately lobbied. In response to the news, the activist further endorsed the censorship of Crowder and posted a string of tweets that accused YouTube of being anti-LGBT and encouraged LGBT employees to “walk out.”
“I don’t know what to say. [YouTube] has decided not to punish Crowder, after he spent two years harassing me for being gay and Latino,” posted Maza. “I don’t know what to say.”
“To be crystal clear: [YouTube] has decided that targeted racist and homophobic harassment does not violate its policies against hate speech or harassment,” he accused. “That’s an absolutely bats*** policy that gives bigots free license.”
“If you’re an LGBT creator, [YouTube] is using you. They’re trotting you out to convince advertisers that their platform hasn’t become a breeding ground for hate speech and bigotry. They’re hoping you’ll distract advertisers away from the monsters they’re creating,” Maza continued. “And if you’re an LGBT employee working at [YouTube], what the f*** are you doing? Helping a guy sell “Socialism Is For F**s” t-shirts? That company isn’t your friend. It’s arming the monsters that we’ve spent our lives trying to get away from. Walk out of there.”
“I have spent two years getting targeted by racist and homophobic abuse from one of [YouTube]’s star creators,” the reporter said. “Today, YouTube decided that none of this violated their terms of service,” he added, captioning a clip of Crowder mocking him.
“If you’re a prominent LGBT creator on [YouTube], you have an incredible opportunity to raise hell for a company that’s been exploiting you for a while now. It’s f***ing Pride month,” he wrote. “Use your power. Other queer creators are counting on you. [YouTube] finds all the bullies LGBT people tried to escape from in high school and gives them the weapons and platform they need to keep tormenting us in adulthood. It’s a platform for monsters masquerading as an ally to the LGBT people they target.”
“It’s going to get so much worse now. [YouTube] has publicly stated that racist and homophobic abuse doesn’t violate their anti-bullying policies. Crowder and his allies are going to be emboldened. I genuinely can’t imagine what LGBT employees at YouTube are doing right now,” Maza said. “We’ve all gotten so f***ing used to how toxic and s****y [YouTube] is. We all just accept that this is the way things are now. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s toxic because YouTube let get this way, let bigots and alt-right creeps and shock jockeys take over. Its [sic] on them.”
“The important thing is this: [YouTube] isn’t going to listen to cries for help. They don’t give a s*** about the the harm they’re doing to queer and marginalized people,” he continued. “You have to raise hell. Use their platform against them. Hold them accountable for their neglect. The beautiful thing about early [YouTube] was watching queer and marginalized people learn how to use their voices, to value the power of their testimony. We can use that same power to force YouTube to do better — to give a s*** about the communities it was built on the backs of.”
“And for f***s sake: STOP agreeing to participate in [YouTube]’s Pride and public relations packages. The company is exploiting you while arming your abusers. Don’t let them use you in corporate branding s***,” concluded Maza.
Crowder has responded to the calls to silence with vows to fight the attack to the end, and on Monday, he released a non-apology apology video.
“It’s been brought to my attention that many of the comments, videos, and overall tenor and tone of this program have been considered hurtful and offensive to many, and while not in violation of policy guidelines, certainly skirted the line of human decency. I, along with everyone here at ‘Louder With Crowder,’ am not above recognizing my mistakes and attempting to rectify them. So I’d like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to all parties involved,” Crowder said at the start of the sarcastic apology video. He then went on to list dozens of humorous and controversial insults and bits that he and his team have produced in the past. And no one was safe: Crowder hit Fox News hosts, “Drag Queen Story Hour,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Planned Parenthood, Ben Shapiro, Joe Biden, Megan Kelly, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), among many other targets.
Maza was not amused by the “apology” video. “Steven Crowder just published a 20-minute fake apology video, where he gratuitously repeats every gross thing he’s done on his show, making a joke out of it,” the Vox reported pouted. “He’s daring [YouTube] to do something about it,” he concluded, “knowing full well they won’t actually enforce their policies.”
Interestingly enough, though Maza is a warrior in the fight to censor comedians who are mean to him, he publicly endorsed the assault of right-wing politicians and activists mere weeks ago.
“Milkshake them all. Humiliate them at every turn. Make them dread public organizing,” Maza posted on May 21, linking to an article about so-called “milkshaking.”