In general, the YouTube community has displayed itself to be left-leaning in the wake of Donald Trump’s ascension to the presidency, but within one of the video site’s largest communities, political leanings tend to be a bit more complicated. A recent culture clash concerned the Kinda Funny YouTube channel, founded in 2015 by former IGN employees, which opted to part ways with co-founder Colin Moriarty less than a week after he shared a controversial tweet regarding International Women’s Day.
On March 8th, Moriarty tweeted a joke about his day without a woman. His followers responded negatively both to the quality of his joke and its subject matter.
Ah. Peace and quiet.#ADayWithoutAWoman
— Colin Moriarty (@notaxation) March 8, 2017
As Kotaku notes, Moriarty’s conservative political leanings have at times put him at odds with the other members of the Kinda Funny team, and his latest tweet brought his conversations with his colleagues to a head. “This morning, the guys and I had a constructive conversation, and feel that, with our separate visions for the future and for the direction of the company, it’s time to go our separate ways,” Moriarty wrote on Facebook. “I want to be clear that this was my decision. Just as we collaborated as friends, so too do we part.”
Moriarty is not the only gamer whose political views are affecting his digital career. Just days after he fired off his International Women’s Day tweet, another top gamer — Jon “JonTron” Jafari — found himself in hot water after expressing controversial views on immigration. In the wake of those comments, thousands of YouTube users opted to unsubscribe from Jafari’s channel.
The stories of Moriarty and Jafari remind us that YouTube’s top creators may not be as homogenous a political community as they seem at first glance. While Moriarty is leaving his current gig, he not planning to fade away at all. “Opportunities are already popping up for me, bringing me in a new, different, and exciting direction, a direction that I feel makes perfect sense for me,” he wrote. “Obviously, you haven’t seen or heard the last of me.”