Amid a campaign to ban him from YouTube, right-wing commentator Steven Crowder delivered a “sincere” apology this week for all the terrible things he’s ever said.
In a video posted to his popular YouTube channel on Monday, Crowder acknowledged that he has repeatedly used his show, “Louder With Crowder” in ways that are “hurtful and offensive.” He pledged with a straight face to make amends.
“It’s been brought to my attention that many of the comments, videos and overall tenor and tone of this program have been considered hurtful and offensive to many, and while not in violation of policy guidelines, certainly skirted the line of human decency,” he said. “I along with everyone here at ‘Louder With Crowder,’ am not above recognizing my mistakes and attempting to rectify them. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to formally apologize all parties involved.”
Crowder then opened a black binder and began reading a prepared statement. Over the course of 20 minutes, he apologized to dozens of people whom he has joked about in the past. His list ranged from conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, whom he called “a greedy shekel-hoarder, to Buzzfeed staffers, whom he said were “failed English majors with multiple Pokemon tattoos that belong to a secret buzz-cutted lesbian motorcycle chain gang.”
Other devastating apologies went out to plus-size model Tess Holiday, CNN anchor Brian Stelter, Fox News host Sean Hannity, Native American protestor Nathan Phillips, actor Jussie Smollett, the Jews, the Palestinians, illegal immigrants and the “uncircumcized community.”
In saying sorry, Crowder managed to repeat some of his all-time most offensive insults, while also showcasing his record of cruelty to a range of identity groups, including those to which he belongs.
Steven Crowder forgets apology to Carlos Maza
Notably, though, Crowder failed to apologize to Vox.com host Carlos Maza, who since last week has been complaining on Twitter and elsewhere about being victimized by his conservative counterpart. As Maza documented in a compilation video, Crowder has among other things called him a “gay Mexican,” a “lispy queer,” an “anchor baby” and a “token Vox gay atheist sprite.”
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. Here's a sample: pic.twitter.com/UReCcQ2Elj
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) May 31, 2019
Maza, who is gay and of Cuban heritage, has also railed against YouTube for allegedly not caring about “LGBT creators” like him. He said that Crowder had clearly violated the Google subsidiary’s harassment policies and should be harshly punished.
YouTube announced Tuesday that it would not take down Crowder’s channel, which has nearly 4 million subscribers. But on Wednesday, the company changed course and blocked the comedian from running ads on his videos. It said Crowder’s monetization would be restored if he removed links from his channel to his online store, where he sells shirts with slogans like “Socialism Is for F*gs.”
Apparently, YouTube was unimpressed that Crowder had already offered his “heartfelt apologies” for the anti-socialist shirt in his “I’m Sorry” video, which has been viewed nearly 1.8 million times.
“I know that we should fight bad ideas with good ideas, and respectfully debate the merits, virtues and shortcomings of socialism, as opposed to merely mocking it with a hysterical T-shift available at louderwithcrowdershop.com,” he said.
Later, at the end of his monologue, Crowder recited what he said were all the “racially, sexually and generally prejudiciously charged pejorative nouns and/or adjectives that have been used on this program.”
Then, looking up from his binder, he deadpanned: “I think that about covers it. Again, I would like to issue my sincerest apologies, and if I’ve forgotten anybody, please list your grievances in the comments below. I’ll be sure to get back to you with great haste.”
The end of “hate speech”?
In punishing Crowder, YouTube cited a policy introduced in 2018 against making the “community” look bad. But the move coincided with YouTube’s introduction of new measures to address “hate speech” by users, which will lead to the removal of thousands of channels and the suspension of ads on others.
In keeping with widespread support on the left for the crackdown, Maza and his supporters have deemed YouTube’s response inadequate. Meanwhile, many on the right have to Crowder’s defense, warning the he is just the latest casualty of a campaign to silence and delegitimize their views online and elsewhere.