Editor’s Note: Initially we had edited this article as we felt perhaps we were becoming too involved in this ongoing issue, even while many of us at NMR stand by it. Upon further reflection, we feel that this is a conversation that we as a community should be having, and we do not want to give the impression that we are walking back our feelings on the subject matter. We have restored the article in full, and apologize for the confusion.
In case you missed it, there’s been bizarre YouTube drama going on between Matthew Santoro and Gunnarolla, with special guest appearances by Matthew’s girlfriend, Nicole Arbour, and Gunnarolla’s friend, Meghan Tonjes. We wrote about it here.
Today there was a new development in the form of an even more bizarre video by the Santoro/Arbour camp, upset about being “bullied” by Gunnarolla’s fans, and claiming that he and Tonjes have been doing all of this for publicity.
Unfortunately, the video was made private almost immediately after being posted, but we were already in the midst of going through the video and pointing out quote-by-quote just how bizarre it actually is, so feel free to read. You are in for some entertainment, friends.
00:37 — “…and it was myself, and a few other people, and a YouTuber named Gunnarolla, who was a friend of mine.” (Matthew)
Here we start off with Matthew saying he and Gunnarolla used to be friends, but now no longer are, insinuating it’s because of this situation.
Which seems like it’s probably an accurate take on things, though one might also understand the position that Gunnarolla thought the friendship ended when Matthew refused to acknowledge that he (inadvertently or not) gave his fans a reason to go after Gunnarolla, and wouldn’t call them off when asked.
Regardless, this is a solid technique used to invoke sympathy. I lost something, someone, and this all could have been avoided if only they had been different.
01:14 — “…those vlogs are now private, and I just want to get out of the way why we did that. We did that because we don’t want to give these people anymore fuel than they already have and I don’t want them to twist our words out of context.” (Matthew)
This is in reference to the original vlogs Matthew and Nicole posted about the event.
Unfortunately, the logic here doesn’t quite track, seeing as how if you leave things up and allow for context, it becomes more difficult to “twist…words out of context.” On the flip side, if you take something down, you can claim people completely took everything out of context or straight up lied, and then it becomes a case of nothing more than he said/she said.
I hate to say it, but, you know, that’s usually something that benefits the person who has something to hide. (Let’s be honest, we’ve all done it. But you learn the hard way that the internet isn’t a place where things can be easily hidden, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case here.)
02:11 — “The person you heard talking ended up that he was one of the organizers, or he worked for the event, so for him to vote for Gunnarolla and furthermore not tell us–” “–that there was even voting going on…” (Matthew / Nicole)
This is about how “sketchy” things at the awards event were. Even if this is the case, it sounds like something that Gunnarolla would not be to blame for, considering it wasn’t, you know, him.
03:06 — “At no point [in our vlogs] was Andrew — Gunnarolla — called a cheater.” (Matthew)
I mean, you didn’t straight up say it, sure, but it’s weird how your fans totally picked up the inference that he was, though, right?
It would be awesome if we could source this, but, you know, they privated their videos.
03:17 — “Nor did we ever engage our fans to attack you.” (Nicole)
This, as far as I’m aware, is completely true. But that was never Gunnarolla’s issue with what happened. His intent has always just been to have the misunderstanding that he cheated cleared up so strangers would stop attacking him over it online.
03:31 — “I believe I’m the only YouTuber that I’ve heard of that uses their fans as an army of volunteers for charity events that I show up to for free, and bring my arm of fans to help people.” (Nicole)
Oh, boy. Well. Nicole, I’m not convinced you’ve ever met another YouTuber, then. We could talk about Hank & John Green, or Hannah Hart, or Tyler Oakley, or literally dozens upon dozens of other YouTubers who strive to use their audiences for good and to raise awareness and money for charities. This statement is just…beyond insulated.’
But more than that, it’s incredibly unnecessary and irrelevant. What’s happening here is a distraction technique. I’m going to point you to the good things myself and people I’m associated with do so that you are distracted from any potential not good things.
Also, you damn well better be going to charity events for free, what the f**k? Do you know what charity is?
03:50 — “And you’re accusing my nice fans who help people…of coming after you, who they haven’t heard of–” “For what reason?” (Nicole / Matthew)
As anyone who has ever engaged with the internet knows, every person or thing has fans of a wide variety. You can have “nice” fans and also have “mean” fans. More likely, sometimes people are nice and sometimes they are not. Sometimes they are passionate and use that passion for positivity, and sometimes they use it for negativity. One does not cancel out the other.
This also sparks a strange point Nicole seems to make at random throughout the video, which is along the lines of “you are not famous.” It’s a belittling tactic, though I’m not entirely sure to what end, in this case. Possibly to support their upcoming repetitive assertation that this is all for publicity on the part of Gunnarolla and Meghan Tonjes. Mostly, though, it seems to be for her own amusement. Ooh, I wish you guys could see how mocking and taunting she gets whenever she talks about them. Though I’m sure they’ll tell you I’m making that up since the video is now private. Convenient!
04:37 — “My audience, the Santoro army, anyone watching this right now, we stand for nothing but positivity.” (Matthew)
Same point as above. People can be and do more than one thing. And just because you preach positivity (though, this and the original vlog having been the only Santoro videos I’ve seen, I personally find that very difficult to believe) doesn’t mean your fans will only go out and do positive things. That’s not how life and words work, unless you’re living in that episode of Misfits where the Virtue organization brings in followers with the power of suggestion. But that got canceled in 2013 and it’s from the UK, not Canada, so I digress.
04:48 — “Now the truth is that, in my video, I mentioned in passing, I mentioned Gunnarolla’s name. And there were a few people who went on his channel and they left negative comments and said ‘I’m disliking this video,’ and there was such a small percentage of people.” (Matthew)
Ohhhhhh, okay, so you did mention Gunnarolla when you were talking about cheating and underhandedness and your positive fans did leave negative comments.
But let’s minimize that the best we can. Wouldn’t want anyone to…notice it…