Steven Crowder is a Canadian-American conservative comedian and commentator who hosts Louder with Crowder, a late night conservative YouTube talk show. He is currently embroiled in a cyber-feud with Vox Media’s Carlos Maza.
According to Maza, Crowder has been mocking him and making derogatory comments about his race and sexuality ever since he started at Vox in 2017. Maza produces, writes, and hosts the Vox video series Strikethrough about “the challenges facing the news media in the age of Trump.” On May 30, Maza tweeted, “Since I started working at Vox, Steven Crowder has been making video after video “debunking” Strikethrough. Every single video has included repeated, overt attacks on my sexual orientation and ethnicity.”
In his next tweet, Maza wrote, “I’ve been called an anchor baby, a lispy queer, a Mexican, etc. These videos get millions of views on YouTube. Every time one gets posted, I wake up to a wall of homophobic/racist abuse on Instagram and Twitter.” Maza went on to recount being doxxed and receiving a barrage of text messages that read, “Debate Steven Crowder.”
Maza tweeted his frustrations at YouTube for allowing the harassment to continue, posting several more messages expressing that he was more angry with YouTube for failing to enforce their harassment policies than he was with Crowder over the harassment. YouTube’s official policy states content creators are not allowed to post, “Content that makes hurtful and negative personal comments/videos about another person,” or “Content that incites others to harass or threaten individuals on or off YouTube,” among other restrictions.
However, one of Maza’s tweets got under Crowder’s skin. Maza tweeted, “Anyway, if you want to help, I guess you can go to this dude’s videos and flag them? But @YouTube isn’t going to do anything, because YouTube does not give a fuck about queer creators. It cares about ‘engagement,’ and homophobic/racist harassment is VERY ‘engaging.'”
On May 31, Crowder posted a response to Maza’s tweets, a video titled, “VOX is Trying to Ban This Channel”.
In the video, he says, “This is corporate censorship, and this is yet another giant company trying to lean on this channel – your channel – and the content you’ve created. This is a war.” He also defends his comments, framing what he has said about Maza as jokes. You can watch the full video below:
At the time of this writing, Vox has not posted an official call for users to flag Crowder’s channel. We have reached out to Vox for comment.
On May 31, The Verge reported that YouTube is investigating Crowder.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Crowder First Rose to Prominence as a Conservative YouTube Personality
Crowder joined YouTube in 2006, during the platform’s early days. He has since amassed 3.8 million subscribers and his videos have been viewed over 800 million times.
Crowder’s YouTube channel put him on Fox News’ radar, and in 2009 he was hired by the channel. As a panelist on Hannity, Crowder occupied a coveted position in conservative media. He has also been a guest on Fox and Friends, The Gavin McInnes Show, and The Joe Rogan Experience.
2. In 2012, Crowder Was Involved in a YouTube Scandal After Posting a Doctored Video
In December 2012, The Daily Beast reports that Crowder attended a Right to Work rally in Michigan. Crowder posted video from the event that appeared to show a union protestor punching him unprovoked. Crowder played the video on air at Fox, claiming to be the victim of “union thuggery”, but that didn’t turn out to be the full story.
It was later revealed that Crowder had pushed the union worker first. A Michigan county prosecutor declined to press charges against the worker, telling Lansing State Journal (as reported by Gawker), “It’s pretty clear the person that they wanted to charge was acting in self-defense.”
3. Crowder Was Fired by Fox News in 2013
Following Crowder’s Michigan debacle, he was fired by Fox News. Shortly after his firing, Crowder appeared on Ed Morrissey’s Ustream podcast and launched into a litany of complaints about his former boss Sean Hannity. He critiqued Hannity’s skill as an interviewer, saying, “Liberals come in and bulldoze him like a child.”
Fox responded by issuing a statement to right-wing news site Breitbart. They wrote:
Fox hired Crowder four years ago and gave him a lot of visibility. But the problem was that he was never that funny, and, in addition, he crossed the line more than a few times. So we let him go. It happens. This is a business. But now, sadly, on his way out the door, Crowder is proving his true colors, by being disloyal to the folks who took a chance on him and had him on the payroll for so long. The attack on Hannity only further underscores the wisdom of our decision to part company with him.
Crowder later issued an apology, expressing his respect and gratitude to Hannity. He also wrote, “Too often, Conservatives feel the need to play by rules which put them into a submissive position, allowing themselves to lose an argument before it begins. As somebody who believes that the best defense is a strong offense, It can be frustrating to watch.”
4. Since Leaving Fox, Crowder Has Been Focused on His YouTube Channel
After being fired by Fox, Crowder shifted his focus back to growing his YouTube channel. He posts his weekly late-night conservative talk show Louder with Crowder every Thursday. Crowder speaks out in support of abortion bans, mocks Bernie Sanders, and regularly “debunks” liberal ideas.
In February 2018, Crowder unintentionally became a meme. He set up a table at the Texas Christian University campus in Fort Worth with a sign that read, “Male privilege is a myth: Change my mind” for a segment on his YouTube channel.
However, the people of the Internet recognized this photo as an opportunity to edit in their own text, turning Crowder’s stunt into meme-bait.
5. Before He Was a Political Commentator, Crowder Voiced a Character on the Children’s Show ‘Arthur’
According to IMDB, Crowder was the voice of Alan “The Brain” Powers on Arthur from 2000 to 2004. He has also appeared in small parts in films like Love Written in Blood and Bend & Break.