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sxephil vs. TheAmazingAtheist

YouTubers go after each other with parodies.


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Internet Culture


Are you ready to watch a video “Battle Royale” between a YouTuber named “Sexy Phil” and another named “Amazing Atheist”?  

Last week The Amazing Atheist ( otherwise known as TJ Kincaid) uploaded a parody video taking on prominent YouTuber sxephil (pronounced “Sexy Phil”). Sxephil — whose real name is Philip DeFranco, has more than a million subscribers and over 650 millions views on his videos.

The Amazing Atheist’s parody video pokes fun at sxephil’s news shows. He takes aim at the content sxephil covers: TheAmazingAtheist describes it as a regurgitation of the Internet. He derides sxephil for the way he speaks — reminiscent of a newscaster with perfect elocution. He even chides the way sxephil edits and closes his videos, full of flashy jump cuts and reminders for people to like/comment/subscribe to his videos.

The Amazing Athiest obviously struck a nerve. The video, uploaded last week, already has been viewed almost 200,000 times and collected more than 6,000 comments, many of which are calling for sxephil to produce a response video.

Ever since sxephil rose to YouTube fame in 2006, he’s  been the object of Internet scorn (specifically on 4chan and YouTube). Many argue sxephil gamed the YouTube system early on to maximize his YouTube profits. (As a YouTube partner, he makes an undisclosed amount of money based on his video views and subscriber rates. Sxephil also makes money off his t-shirts).

“Sexy Phil” has also drawn ire for using a “YouTube hack” where he inserts a photo of a scantily clad woman as the midpoint of his video, effectively making his video’s thumbnail a picture of a hot female in order to get more views. Many YouTubers have objected to this practice, calling it degrading towards women.

In fact, sxephil’s videos have garnered so much criticism that Googling or searching “sxephil sucks” on YouTube yields dozens, if not hundreds of results. Sxephil also can claim the notoriety that comes from having his own hateful encyclopedia dramatic profile.

It remains to be seen if sxephil will make a response video to TheAmazingAthiest, but the community support for such a video battle is high. The Daily Dot’s attempts at reaching sxephil for comment have been unsuccessful.  

YouTubers have rushed to defend sxephil in the comment section of TheAmazingAthiest’s video as quickly as they have agreed with TheAmazingAthiest.  Other YouTube commenters have taken to pestering sxephil on his own channel, asking him to make a response video to TheAmazingAthiest’s video.

While the unaccustomed YouTube browser might find these videos mean-spirited, YouTubers have been making parody videos of each other since the dawn of YouTube. The response video is also a time-honored YouTube tradition.

In fact, the response video is one of the few forms of community that has survived YouTubes increased commercialization.  The response video is exactly what it sounds like – a person talks into the camera and addresses whatever issue the community has asked that person to address.

If sxephil does respond, it would make some interesting YouTube drama, and as we all should know by now, YouTube is severely lacking in that department. Let the video battles begin?

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