Who is far-right YouTuber Steven Crowder and what are his anti-LGBTQ+, anti-feminist views?
For the past five years, former Fox News journalist and far-right pundit Steven Crowder has been successfully cultivating conservative outrage with his YouTube show Louder with Crowder.
With more than 5.7 million subscribers and 1.5 billion views on his videos, the self-proclaimed “anti-feminist” talking head has become incredibly influential in the fringe sections of conservative online spaces for his irreverent commentary where no one is off-limits.
Some may recognise Crowder from the notoriously popular “change my mind” meme format where he smugly holds up one of his Louder with Crowder brand coffee mugs, but fewer may know that the original image saw him denying male privilege.
Others may recognise some of the thousands of extremely anti-LGBTQ+ and racist clips he has posted online, most of which are usually excerpts from his show.
After a short stint as a child actor, including parts in Arthur and various films, Crowder began his political career in 2009 as a commentator and reporter for various organisations, including Fox News.
He became known for his satirical take on political topics and articles that – depending on your definition of humour – were supposed to be funny, including a rather crude article on abstinence.
But Crowder wouldn’t gain national attention until an altercation involving union activists attempting to tear down the tent of a right-wing libertarian group aiming to disrupt their protests.
In a video from Crowder on the protest, he is seen provoking union activists who eventually forcefully rip apart the anti-union tent. He is punched several times during the clip.
Right-wing journalists, politicians and pundits the world over used the clip as an excuse to express anti-union beliefs, calling it an example of “union thuggery”.
The political commentator was eventually dropped by Fox News just short of a year later after he criticised right-wing media pundit Sean Hannity for letting former Democratic politician Anthony Weiner take “control of the entire show” during a broadcast.
“I just wanted to be like, ‘Sean, how do you let this happen? At the very least, you just cut the show and go to commercial or something,'” Crowder said. “Learn to ask questions to which you’ll know the answer.
“Get Anthony Weiner on a real host’s show, and I’m sure it would be a very different story.”
A few years later, he would create the infamous Louder with Crowder format where various right-wing pundits and so-called “comedians” would join Crowder to punch down at minorities, the left, or anyone Crowder feels isn’t right-wing enough.
His format, which predominantly makes money from YouTube advertisements and merchandise, became notorious for its blatant bigotry and unapologetic hatred of left-wing politics.
Over the course of his show’s history, he’s called CBS reporter Betty Yu “aggressively Asian,” said that rape victims are “blue-hared would-be lesbian feminists“, suggested they are liars, and joked that Black farmers were planting “Hennessey trees” in soil that has “a high level of meth”.
But in 2019, Steven Crowder’s awful comments hit a new low after he called Vox journalist Carlos Maza a “lispy queer, a “little queer,” and a “gay Mexican.”
After thousands of users reported the video for hateful speech, YouTube responded in a Twitter thread where it said that Crowder’s comments did not violate its guidelines on hate speech.
It clarified that a team “spent the last few days conducting an in-depth review” of the video and found that it did not violate any policies.
In a tweet from 4 June 2019, Maza said: “I have spent two years getting targeted by racist and homophobic abuse from one of YouTube’s star creators.
“Today, YouTube decided that none of this violated their terms of service.”
This marks just one of the times Crowder has attacked a minority with rhetoric that is designed to provoke a reaction from pundits.
More than a dozen experts on extremist rhetoric have pointed out that networks like Crowder’s respond to outrage from his incredibly disgusting language positively because it gains them notoriety from supporters and opponents alike.
In a Bloomberg article, Stanford extremism researcher Becca Lewis said that, while Crowder doesn’t explicitly describe himself as a white nationalist, his channel has “some of the most overt racism of any of the shows I’ve looked at.”
While some may disregard him as just another racist pundit who thrives off of the attention given to him by protestors and supporters alike, it’s important to note that he remains on Apple Podcast’s top 100 list as of 2020.
It may seem like an answer to simply ignore his bullying of minorities until he goes away, but Steven Crowder has gained such a significant right-wing audience that, like it or not, he will be able to continue expressing racist sentiments, and his viewers are going to keep listening.
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