Entertainment

YouTuber killed in botched butcher knives robbery prank

Published: 7/Feb/2021 22:15

by Theo Salaun

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A 20-year-old YouTuber, Timothy Wilks, has been shot and killed after trying to prank somebody with a butcher knife for a fake robbery video in Nashville, Tennessee.

For the purpose of filming a prank video for YouTube, Wilks and an unidentified friend wielded butcher knives and approached a group of people in the parking lot of Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park.

Reportedly intending to create prank robbery content, Wilks was then shot dead by 23-year-old David Starnes Jr., who was one of the people in the group of intended “victims.” As Tennessee laws dictate, Starnes was legally permitted to carry a handgun and act in self defense.

At the moment, news sources like the Washington Post report that Wilks’ gunshot wound was fatal, his unidentified friend was untouched and that, while police are continuing to investigate, no charges have yet been filed against Starnes.

Prank videos have long been a staple of the entertainment industry, but Wilks’ latest effort was a long evolution away from the likes of Ashton Kutcher’s Punk’d episodes that circulated on MTV back in 2003.

As internet content enjoys a greater breadth of creators and sources of entertainment, robbery pranks have grown in number and in extremity. A quick YouTube search will reveal dozens of videos, some concluding in arrests or in tears.

youtube robbery pranks
YouTube
YouTube is filled with robbery pranks.

Still, while commenters will be quick to call out prank videos for being staged, Wilks’ death proves a cautionary tale. At just 20 years old, the hopeful YouTuber’s intentions were for good content, but Starnes reportedly indicates he had no idea that a prank was afoot.

The Tennessee State Constitution reads that “citizens of this state have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense.” Specifically, citizens need no permit to purchase a long or handgun and, while permits are required for open or concealed carrying, self-defense laws are flexible.

As Tennessee code indicates, “there is no duty to retreat before using deadly force, as long as you are acting lawfully and are in a place you have a right to be in.” With the incident taking place in a public parking lot, those parameters were met by Starnes and, as such, charges have yet to be filed but Nashville police confirm that investigations are ongoing.

Entertainment

How does Addison Rae make money? TikTok star’s revenue streams explained

Published: 24/Feb/2021 16:04 Updated: 24/Feb/2021 16:27

by Adam Fitch

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When you think of the select few who are at the forefront of the current wave of influencers-turned-entertainment-giants, Addison Rae Easterling comes to mind. The TikTok star has blown up, especially over the past year, and she’s poised to make millions of dollars because of it.

The 20-year-old is traditionally a dancer, competing in the sport across the United States since the age of six. After blowing up on TikTok from, unsurprisingly, dancing, in late 2019, she’s amassed millions of followers across all major social media platforms.

The typical method of monetization for influencers comes in the form of sponsored posts and brand deals, and that certainly was the case for Addison early on. Though, after signing with talent agency WME in January 2020, she has her sights set on devising major revenue streams across multiple mediums.

From pretty standard ways of making money like advertisements on YouTube to launching her own beauty line, Addison is proof that social networks such as TikTok can serve as launchpads for a career that’s much bigger than any single platform. As she continues to expand her footprint and command higher paydays, it’s worthwhile looking at how she’s building an empire that may well set her up for life.

How Addison Rae makes money

Content

Addison Rae Mama Knows Best Podcast
Spotify
Spotify are hoping to bring more teenages to their platform with Addison Rae’s podcast.

Addison Rae is a major force in the world of content creation, it’s even been reported that she was the highest-earning TikToker in 2019. The majority of her income, which was said to be $5m that year, was from posting sponsored posts for the likes of Rebook and Fashion Nova.

When going live on TikTok, viewers can donate in the form of gifting. Addison Rae, once living in the Hype House — a collective of content creators in Los Angeles — has gone live with her friends to give further insight into her lifestyle, an enviable one for her many young fans. So, from TikTok alone, she’s made plenty from gifting and branded content deals.

Then, as you’d perhaps expect, there’s YouTube. The Google-owned video platform isn’t Addison’s main platform but she’s proven that she is a hit on there whenever she chooses to post. With 4.64m subscribers at the time of writing after posting only 16 videos, she makes money from adverts on her content and sponsorships from brands.

It’s clear that sponsored content is a big driver of revenue for the dancer, and that translates over to Instagram too. Companies such as American Eagle, Disney, and Daniel Wellington have all paid healthy sums to have a presence on her ever-popular feed.

Moving away from video content, Addison Rae signed a podcast deal with Spotify in July 2020. Published weekly, Mama Knows Best is an original audio product from the TikTok star and her mother, Sheri Nicole. The show is produced by Spotify-owned Parcast. There’s no word on how much she’s being paid for this endeavour but if it’s even a fraction of the deal Joe Rogan closed then she’s receiving handsome cheques for her weekly show.

Other ventures

Addison Rae Merchandise
Fanjoy
The internet celebrity’s merchandise range features lines based on popular phrases she coined through TikTok.

A fairly typical avenue for content creators to go down when they amass popularity is merchandise, and that’s no different with Addison Rae. She launched her own self-named merchandise store, in collaboration with Fanjoy, on May 1, 2020. Products available for purchase include clothes, phone cases, notebooks, and mugs.

An extension of her popular Instagram is a blossoming modelling career, one that was kickstarted by posing for Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS brand. She found herself blown up on a billboard in New York City in some of Kardashian’s line and has since publicly spoken about how much she enjoyed the experience. As she continues to grow in popularity, she’ll be tapped to be a face of major brands.

Getting further into the world of business, Addison Rae launched a joint venture with Madeby Collective in August 2020. ITEM Beauty is a makeup line that is said to be cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. It launched with just a handful of products but that’s to be expected; you wouldn’t want to invest too much into a new business initiative just to find out it wasn’t in-demand. More products have been launched since, perhaps indicating that it was received well by her audience.

Addison Rae ITEM Beauty
ITEM
Addison Rae’s beauty line ITEM launched with a limited range but has since expanded.

Film & music

In September 2020, Addison took a major step into the world of traditional entertainment when it was announced that she had been cast in a movie. ‘He’s All That’ is a remake of the 1999 comedy ‘She’s All That’ and she’s occupying the main role. At the time of writing, she’s busy at work filming her Hollywood debut.

While not confirmed, it appears as if she has other ventures in the works too. As expected based on her desires to pursue many facets of the entertainment industry, there are rumors that she’ll soon be launching a music career, including a Nicki Minaj collab, and that she has a reality television show in the works. One thing is for certain though, and that is she has no interest in being pigeonholed — there’s no doubt she’ll make a killing financially along the way, too.