YouTube comedian Jordan ‘FriendlyJordies’ Shanks has been hit with a lawsuit from Australian politician Clive Palmer demanding up to $500,000 AUD in damages following a series of insults in his satirical videos.
Comedic YouTubers often take aim at national and international personalities, roasting them for their actions, views, and sometimes their weight. FriendlyJordies has been left with a $500k intention to sue, however, after one politician took particular offense to his jokes.
Over a series of videos ahead of the Australian election this year, Shanks dubbed the former federal member of parliament a “fatty mcf*ckhead,” a “dense humpty-dumpty,” and more, all of which were listed as defamation in the letter from Palmer’s attorney.
FriendlyJordies told fans during his response video, simply titled ‘fatty,’ that he believed he had not damaged Palmer’s national reputation after calling him a 'fatty mcf*ckhead'.
“You do realize that for a defamation allegation to be successful, it has to be proven I lowered your standing in the eyes of the public?” the popular Australian comedian asked in a 25-minute video hitting back at Palmer’s letter.
“If your overall goal is to escape extreme embarrassment and humiliation, then making it a legal obligation for me to prove you're a 'fatty mcf*ckhead' in court ... has to be the worst possible way to achieve that goal. You've moved it up from a privilege to an honor.”
For mobile users, the video segment starts at 3:24.
Shanks also poked fun at himself, as well as the hefty $500,000 ($340,000USD) price tag Palmer slapped on the alleged defamation, by pointing out that because he’s a YouTube star and a young adult, he has very little money to his name even before a lawsuit.
“I’m a millennial, going bankrupt doesn’t scare me. I don’t have a house. I have as many assets as seats you have in parliament: none. I'm not going to capitulate to you, you fat toad, which is not a defamatory term,” he said.
“This Macbook’s my mom’s. I’ve been desensitized to the emotional needs of others, and as such I’m your worst nightmare. I’m a robot with nothing to lose. See you in court tub tub.”
Shanks, who also travels around Australia performing stand-up comedy shows, doubled down on his stance regarding Palmer’s weight, and revealed a clothing line branded with the slogan ‘Clive Palmer is a Fatty McF*ckhead’.
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The t-shirts, which come in both censored and uncensored options for fans, also have small fine printed reading “in my opinion” at the bottom so that, as FriendlyJordies claimed, no one wearing the yellow shirts can be sued.
Clive Palmer held office in Australian parliament from 2013-2016. He most recently spent $60 million AUD on a failed bid to reclaim his seat in the nation’s 2019 election. The cost was reportedly more than the combined budget of both Australia's major parties combined.
FriendlyJordies currently boasts more than 300,000 followers on YouTube, mainly from Australia. He has also extended his reach to the United States in recent times with videos poking fun at Donald Trump, and American commentator Steven Crowder.