Singer, songwriter, and YouTuber Nice Peter has always been nice. Really nice. So when his fans learned he had been fired on Saturday from DigiTour, the national tour of top YouTube musicians, they were angry. Really angry.

“Firing @nicepeter from Digitour is like firing Santa from the North Pole,” wrote Brooke Smallson on Twitter.

Fans immediately circulated rumors saying Nice Peter’s firing was related to one of DigiTour’s sponsors, the sports drink known as Neuro.

YouTubers took to Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr to discuss what happened.  DigiTour did its fanbase no favors: Instead of issuing an official statement on Nice Peter’s departure it tweeted a message discussing refunds, but offered no explanation. Its “apologies to his fans” seemed  inadequate.

Fans said they were no longer going to the concert, applied for ticket refunds, and called for a boycott, which Nice Peter pleaded against, because his friends on tour still needed their support, he said.  

On Monday, however, he addressed their questions head-on during his regularly-scheduled show. His eight-minute-long video added more fuel to the Neuro fire, and was viewed more than 102,000 times at press time.  

In the video, titled, “I got fired from Digitour,” Nice Peter highlights the strengths of YouTube, often misunderstood by media outlets, and waxes poetic on the medium in comparison to the traditional music industry.

“The truth is, YouTube is one of the only places where you can get in front of an audience without money,” says Nice Peter, after calling the music industry “corrupt.”

“What we have here is very sacred. It’s very special, and very cool, because there is nothing between us—me who makes things, and you who watches things,” he says earnestly into the camera.  

Then he addressed DigiTour, talking about how when DigiTour started, it was about celebrating YouTube, and “bridging this gap between viewers and content creators.”  

This year, though, DigiTour changed, he said.

“When I was in the middle of DigiTour, I realized I was a part of something that was not about me. It wasn’t about you; it wasn’t about YouTube. … It was about money, and that became something that bothered me.”

Nice Peter goes on to say he’s always had a hard time keeping his “mouth shut,” and the focus on money bothered him so much it even affected him on stage during the tour. When he finally “spoke his mind” backstage, “they did not like it. They decided to fire me.”  

At the end of his video, he thanks his fans for putting up with the ordeal, and says the whole thing, “hassle, contract-y, lawyer stuff—it was a mess,”  was quite stressful.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about products. It’s not about commercials. It’s not about ads, and it’s not about money,” says Nice Peter, smiling. “It’s about you. It’s about me, and making things. It’s about YouTube, people and making music. And it’s about love, and it’s about water, and it’s about sunshine.”  

YouTubers commended Nice Peter for standing up for what he believed in, and told him how proud they were of him, and how their respect of him grew after they watched his vague explanation.

“Just watched your vid on the Digitour debacle. Thanks for being honest and classy,” tweeted Hannah Hart, of the My Drunk Kitchen series.

While Nice Peter didn’t name names, it’s not hard to imagine who he was talking about;
DigiTour, in its second year, only has two sponsors: Neuro and Posse Audio. As DigiTour grows in size and popularity, it’s implausible to imagine fewer sponsors years from now.

It remains to be seen if Nice Peter’s firing will set a precedent of YouTubers bucking “the man” as the video-sharing site goes mainstream; Most YouTubers seem eager to cash in.    

DigiTour was unavailable for comment at press time.

Photo by Genevieve719