Alex Day has uploaded a video to YouTube for the first time in more than seven months.
The 31-minute long video titled “The Past” marks the first time Day has directly addressed the numerous sexual abuse allegations that surrounded the once popular YouTuber after his self-imposed exile from the YouTube community.
Note: If your personal convictions do not allow you to watch the video below, which Alex Day has monetized, you can also watch a mirror of the video uploaded to another video sharing service, or read a transcript of the video.
Day opens the video by imploring his audience to keep an open mind before, curiously, criticizing Tumblr’s role in the downfall of his YouTube career. In the opening minutes of the video, he called Tumblr users “militantly liberal and intolerant of anyone else that doesn’t share their opinion.”
He goes on to suggest the masterpost, which is a constantly updated collection of public YouTuber abuse allegations, is doing a disservice to Tumblr and the YouTube community by removing context from the allegations being made against him and other YouTubers.
“The problem with the master post is that you’re just collating these stories and experiences…. Now people have this idea of proof by quantity,” Day said in his video, suggesting that such posts ultimately serve as encouragement for viewers to just count the stories and not actually read them.
He later shared is belief that there is much ‘confusion and misunderstanding’ about his actions before directly addressing the allegations against him by saying: “I’m sick of standing by and not trying to ease it, and not try to make things a little bit clearer. I’m not a rapist. I’m not a sexual predator. I’ve never forced anyone to do anything if I understood they didn’t want to.”
Unfortunately for Alex, many of those watching will see this move as a desperate attempt to salvage what is left of his YouTube career. A perception that is only strengthened by the fact he chose to share a limited amount of information to counter the many stories of manipulation and abuse former-friends and fans recounted on Tumblr.
Instead, he addresses two (relatively…) minor allegations. One made by a young girl who wrote about feeling threatened by Alex before being forced to remove her post after receiving a torrent of abuse from Day’s fans. The other by a girl who Day completely dismisses as completely misreading his intentions. He referred to these two allegations as the “innocent ones,” before condescendingly suggesting the girls “misremembered or misappropriated” their version of events.
Despite all of this, towards the end of his video it seems he may have learned something. Speaking about Lindsay’s allegations, he said:
“Something she said in her second Tumblr post… She said that ‘I know that if i had said no, he would have stopped.’ But the point is she felt like she couldn’t, for reasons that I still don’t filly understand. But i’ll do my best to make sure no one feels like that again.”
This mirrors Day’s earlier statements on Tumblr. After initially denying any wrongdoing, as the backlash reached its peak he wrote:
“Until yesterday, I thought that I had only had appropriate, though occasionally manipulative relationships with women. However, the model of consent that I followed, not that I specifically thought about it at the time – was that only “no” meant “no.” That is not what consent is.”
It’s always difficult to separate the fact from the fiction and the person from the persona in cases like this. The following tweet says it all:
YouTubers success is based on their abilities to manipulate others into liking them from their videos. Paired with bad minds this is unsafe.
— Jackson Perkins (@JacksonPerk) September 28, 2014
Interestingly, shortly after Day published his video, another new YouTube video addressing his inappropriate behavior with fans was released. In the video, Bree Essrig explains how Day attempted to convince young fans to join him in his hotel room for pizza and alcohol: “He was like ‘there’s gonna be alcohol.’ I’m like, ‘these girls are like 12-years-old,’ and he’s like ‘we don’t have to tell their parents.’ (sic)”
Update: YouTubers have been reacting to Day’s video:
Alex Day belittled, pressured and generally exploited me when I was at my most vulnerable. so STOP telling me how I should feel.
— Lex (@lexcanroar) October 6, 2014
if i wanted to watch 31 minutes of old shit i’d watch antiques roadshow. actually i quite like antiques roadshow
— Emma Blackery (@emmablackery) October 5, 2014
I watched all 30 mins of Alex Day’s video. I’m not convinced of any development & I don’t agree with his choice to continue making videos.
— Jack Howard (@JackHoward) October 6, 2014
Not gonna lie Alex Day has gotta be the most charming dude even I was slowly moving to his side until I was like wait…nahhhhhh
— Nathan Z. (@TheThirdPew) October 5, 2014