Wow … um … okay, there’s something to be said for brand awareness and, lady, this ain’t it. I’m all for humor and being a little snarky but outright crapping on an entire subculture because you don’t get it and then snidely poking the bear with your follow-up tweets is, at best, short-sighted and, at worst, bullying. And nobody likes a bully.
E! Online, the digital arm of the entertainment brand that is supposed to be “with it” while endlessly fawning over celebs has just stirred up a major hornet’s nest by writing a listicle about the Teen Choice Awards that was basically an excuse to sling some stones from their little glass house. And the YouTubers and Viners are throwing stones right back.
The article, titled “18 Moments From the 2015 Teen Choice Awards That Made Us Feel Super Old” is not a terrible idea for an article. But it’s less a riff on the ever-changing face of pop culture and more an entire article that’s basically bashing the stars who have worked incredibly hard to get where they are. We get it, you don’t understand the enormously popular subculture of online and social media entertainment — you basically announced that E! will not be around in a few years.
Some of the worst lines include:
-There were entire categories that we didn’t even know existed. Choice Viner, really?
-There were entire categories in which we’d never heard of the nominees. Eva Gutowski? Lele Pans? Joey Graceffa? Felix Kjellberg? Are those even real people?
Other entries picked various stars such as beauty gurus Amanda Steele and Claudia Sulewski and declaring you have no idea who they are. Or Pitch Perfect’s Skylar Astin, for that matter … whom they call Sarah Hyland’s Uber driver. At a certain point, that’s just being bad at your job.
And what was up about tearing into how the girls were dressed? Not a one looked bad or overly revealing, but according to E! Online, it was some sort of freewheeling carnival of sin. Actually it’s akin to what we call “slut shaming” and it’s not a nice thing to do, E!
As mentioned, the YouTubers have decided they don’t like where E! writer Seija Rankin took the article and began commenting on that newfangled Twitter she is evidently so confused by (See Seija, I didn’t just assume you were a girl, I took a second to look you up).
Posting their dismay, YouTubers and their fans called the entertainment reporting company out:
At which point E! decided the best thing they could do was throw a little shade back by posting the Kermit Lipton meme tagged with “Remember that time we gave a YouTube star their own TV show?”
And that’s when the shit really hit the fan. Connor Franta, Tony Valenzuela and Jenna Marbles are just a few of the people who didn’t dig the jab and retorted with a lot more kindness and sensibility than E! managed to muster.
I hope E knows how embarrassing this is for them. https://t.co/AKhYm3URmE
— Eva Gutowski (@lifeaseva) August 17, 2015
— Neil McNeil (@Neil_McNeil) August 17, 2015
— Claudia Sulewski (@ClaudiaSulewski) August 17, 2015
— Lauren Elizabeth (@Love_Lauren_E) August 17, 2015
Grace Helbig, the YouTuber E! “so graciously gifted” with that show felt stung by the slap as well:
— Grace Helbig (@gracehelbig) August 18, 2015
So that’s where we’re at now. E! has buried their words in a dump of tweets and a whole industry has been left fuming. You stay classy, E! Irrelevance looks good on you.