Richard Lawson, commentator for Vanity Fair, is truly a master of snark, but he seemed a little extra ornery this week when he namechecked Joey Graceffa as a “ghoul.”
In his review of the latest Pentatonix video “Winter Wonderland” for Vanity Fair’s roundup of all things digital, Lawson declares, “There are many ghouls on YouTube. Some of them—your GamerGaters, your Pick Up Artists, your Joey Graceffas—are hiding in plain sight. They are immediately identifiable as ghouls and are immediately treated as such.”
Now it’s no secret that NMR occasionally gives Joey “the business” when we report on his various digital activities, but in an age where there are plenty of real monsters to choose from amongst the YouTube stables, it seems a little unfair to sack Graceffa with a label usually reserved for discovering that your neighbor has been arrested because he turned his cellar into a “rape dungeon.”
Graceffa, love him, hate him or REALLY hate him, has proven that he’s not a one-trick pony or merely a pretty face: he works hard in this space — harder than many who we’ve defended in the past.
Say what you want, Vanity Fair, there’s plenty of low-hanging fruit to mock on YouTube (some who might be more apt for that nom de plume) and Joey might be deserving of a lot of titles — but “ghoul” probably isn’t one of them.