Friday, March 21, 2014

Consent (A Response To Recent Events)

I have been a fan of YouTube duo, Charlie McDonnell and Alex Day, for years and years. Since about fourth grade to be exact. Over these years, I have learned ukulele to be able to play the Chameleon Circuit albums and fell in love with everything these boys did. I've always loved Charlie but it was Alex who I gained an obsession for. I know all his songs and can sing them for you. I watched his videos for hours at a time. I supported him in the Neriarmy and constantly talked about him and promoted his music. I looked up to this man and even when he made an offensive video (cough cough Big Girls In Costumes) or did something stupid, I'd defend him because I loved him. But tonight when I read Charlie's latest blog post, I stopped defending the man I have been looking up to for four years. If you have not read this blog post, a quick summary would be that Charlie discussed sexual consent and how some YouTubers have been accused of sexually assaulting others. It wasn't until Charlie mentioned Alex Day that my heart sank. McDonnell explained how he'd been Alex's house mate for seven years and throughout the time they spent living together, he witnessed him cheat on many of his girlfriends. Majoruty of his fans are aware of how shy Charlie tends to be and he explained that he didn't want to confront Alex and tell him to stop for he was worried that the friendship they'd have would end. Instead, he only said that it upset him but that didn't stop Alex.
    This news is heartbreaking to me and the worst part is that it doesn't stop there. One of my favorite singers in the whole world, Tom Milsom, has also been accused of having a manipulative relationship with a minor. I know it sounds quite stupid but all of this seems like a punch in the face. I bought their albums. I supported them and loved them yet something like this happens and I can't trust this person I thought was inspirational and a hero.
      Shortly after news of these terrible relationships came out, one of my favorite YouTubers and 1/2 of ALL CAPS (a band I love) came out with her story of both Alex and Luke Conard (who was also in the band). She started off with Alex claiming she was one of the "lucky ones" and how he never pressured her into anything she didn't want to do. However, he constantly cheated on her with other women whenever he went back to England. Kristina went on saying that it really tore her apart but after recovering, she was able to forgive Alex and even started a friendship with him. The part that really frightened me was when she told the real story of her and Luke. Luke was seven years older than her and lived in LA. When they first started dating, Luke wasn't even a YouTuber and Kristina liked that about him (she'd had just broken up with Alex and wanted to go "off the grid") he'd offered to help produce the latest album of Kristina's band at the time, The Parcel Tongues. Harry Potter rock was starting to die down though so Luke proposed the two of them start a techno nerd band. Kristina started off by saying she got none of the money from ALL CAP's first album, Songs In The Key Of Email, for Luke took it claiming that since Kristina already had a band, he should get all the profit from this one. Skipping over a lot of other horrible stories Kristina tells in the blog post, Luke and her broke up yet he still forced her to pretend as though they were dating so they'd gain popularity. At one point, Kristina said "our “relationship” only consisted of three things - performing, sleeping together, and fighting - i persisted." Luckily, Luke and Kristina never got back together and eventually, she was able to recover from the emotional damage this excuse of a man brought her through. She ended the post saying,
"No matter who you are or what the outstanding circumstances are, you deserve to be with someone who loves you and respects you.” I could seriously write a novel of appreciation towards Kristina Horner and how awesome she is but I would recommend 100% you read her blog post here for you will definitely see how wonderful and inspirational she is.
I don't really know what to do now. I invested so much of my time in these people and now that I know who they truly are, I can't look at them with the same admiration and just pure love I used to. I plan on still listening to Tom and Alex's music for I do really love it and think they're talented. I have unsubscribed to both their channels and will no longer be supporting them by promoting their music here. As for ALL CAPS, I do still love the music but I can't stand to listen to it now that I know what was really going on. As Kristina said, i wasn’t losing my boyfriend to world of warcraft, i was losing my sanity to a manipulative, abusive, selfish guy.” It hurts a lot for I have been a huge supporter of this band for two years now and all of a sudden I find out the truth of what seemed like a perfectly happy couple. I no doubt will continue watching Kristina's videos but I am done with Luke (I never even really watched his channel).
In addition, since these scandals have come to attention, both Alex and Tom's merch has been removed from DFTBA Records. Hank Green wrote a post about that here. There is also a long list of other blog posts discussing this topic here. Also, Charlie has said that he is no longer friends with Alex and though it breaks my heart, it was the right thing to do and I couldn't be more proud of Charlie. Charlie has also made a video talking about consent in relationships that I seriously suggest you watch for it is no doubt his best video.
There are so many other victims and a story that freaked me out to the point of an anxiety attack involving Carrie (One of my biggest role models ever). I just want to wrap this post saying that you should always be comfortable with the relationship you are in and no matter how guilty you feel or the amount of pressure you are receiving from your partner, always do whats best for you. If you don't want it, NO ONE should ever tell you that you do or force you into something like that. Also, don't be afraid to share your story. If you or someone you know has been abused, don't hesitate to tell someone because the more you keep quiet about it, more and more people are at risk at getting hurt. 

1 comment :

  1. I feel exactly the same about this. I can distinctly remember discovering Nerimon and watching the entire 'Alex reads Twilight' series in one day, and it feels like a punch to the stomach for it to be revealed that he has behaved so disgustingly. But I like that other youtubers like Charlie are making videos about consent and what consent actually is, instead of ignoring the issue or defending this behaviour.