Entertainment

Ethan Klein reveals surprising reason YouTube removed Papa John's video

by Virginia Glaze
H3 Podcast, YouTube

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H3H3 comedy duo member and YouTuber Ethan Klein was shocked after his podcast interview with Papa John’s founder John Schnatter was scrubbed from the site — but now, he’s discovered a potential explanation for the issue.

Following Schnatter’s viral “day of reckoning” fiasco, where the mogul claimed to have eaten 40 pizzas in 30 days and argued that the chain had lost its verve, Klein decided to invite him onto the H3H3 podcast as a means to pick his brain about the debacle.

Despite the video’s quick rise on YouTube’s trending page, it suddenly went missing from the list, which Klein announced in a Tweet shortly thereafter.

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According to the content creator, YouTube had demonetized the interview and even removed it from their trending page, with no explanation given as to why the company had taken such a drastic action.

However, a subsequent Tweet reveals a surprising development in this story: apparently, YouTube’s automated closed captions coded some of Schnatter’s speech as a racial slur, as evidenced by a screenshot of the video.

h3h3productions, Twitter
Ethan Klein proposed a purported explanation for the demonetization of his interview with John Schnatter, citing an alleged glitch with YouTube's closed captions.

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“Looks like the reason YouTube demonetized and removed the video from trending is this,” Klein wrote. “And let me be clear… HE DID NOT SAY THAT. You'd think there would be more systems in place before taking down a two hour podcast.”

Although Klein clearly called out the platform for their unexpected response to the slip-up, he went on to find humor in the situation, writing, “Can we please appreciate the irony of YouTube accusing Papa of using the N word?! This has never happened on any of our other 180 episodes!”

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This debacle certainly does come with a touch of irony, considering that Schnatter was expunged as Papa John’s chairman in 2018 after leaked audio from a conference exposed the founder for saying a racial slur.

Although this is most definitely not the case with Klein’s interview, it seems that the “day of reckoning” has struck, once again — and although YouTube has since fixed the issue, Klein feels it’s a problem that the site should consider “how dangerous this can be for a creator's wellbeing and livelihood.”