What happens when drama channels become the source of drama themselves? That’s a question the YouTube community is asking itself after two of the biggest commentary channels have become entangled in their own very public drama this past week.
It all kicked off in early December when popular commentary personalities Smokey Glow, whose real name is Hannah, and Angelika Oles collaborated on a video together for Vlogmas. Ironically, the collaboration was about the top YouTube drama of 2020.
With Hannah in the United States and Angelika in the UK, the YouTubers mentioned each other at the start of their videos— sending fans to the other’s channel— before launching into their own opinions on the topic. Though both versions of the collaboration videos have since been removed, Angelika’s video was reuploaded after taking out all mentions of Hannah.
But when Hannah gloated about Angelika and their friendship at the start of her video, even mentioning the two had plans to meet up in-person once COVID-19 travel restrictions would allow, her comment section was immediately flooded with backlash.
Fans of the Washington-based YouTuber were shocked to see her supporting Angelika, as she frequently speaks out about issues of racism, sexism, and inclusivity, and is a big advocate for holding white influencers accountable for their actions.
What was the backlash about?
The majority of critics pointed Hannah to a video made by former Angelika Oles subscriber Diana Plantana, who details Angelika’s history of microaggressions against the BIPOC community.
In Diana’s video, she claims Angelika profits off of demanding accountability from white creators for their racism and mistreatment of people of colour. However, when it comes to Angelika’s own behaviour, she refuses to own her mistakes and shuts down those who call her out.
Diana focuses on two major points— first, Angelika’s support of Kylie Jenner despite the family’s long history of cultural appropriation of the Black community. She references a video Angelika made in which she reported on a story about a Twitter user photoshopping a caption onto Kylie Jenner’s Instagram post that said, “brown skinned girl.” At the time, Angelika said that people who were upset over Kylie’s fake caption were “losers”. Second, Diana mentions Angelika’s reaction to a story she reported on about Dixie D’Amelio allegedly “faking” seizures in high school to which Angelika said, “who cares.” This caused great distress for her disabled subscribers.
Diana explains that when called out by women of colour and disabled fans for her remarks on both topics, Angelika got defensive and blocked commenters that attempted to educate her on the situation.
Others came forward to notify Hannah of alleged transphobic behaviour from Angelika in recent months, including misgendering fans. Some are also accusing the YouTuber of anti-semitic behaviour.
Smokey Glow defended Angelika before publicly denouncing her.
Upon receiving a flood of backlash for her collaboration with Angelika, Hannah first defended her friend. In a pinned comment to her now-deleted video, Hannah wrote the following:
“Just wanted to do a quick update. After talking to Angelika and getting a better picture of the situation I feel like I have a pretty good idea about what happened. I feel Angelika genuinely does understand the mistake she made and has tried to address it the best she could. I apologize to anyone who felt offended by the things she said and I don’t feel it’s my place as a white woman to tell you how to feel about this situation. I will say that after talking to her and looking into things I am seeing a lot of misinformation being spread about her I am NOT okay with. As far as I can tell Angelika has never done anything transphobic. Comments perpetuating this narrative with no evidence are harmful to the LGBTQIA+ community as they distract from actual instances of transphobia happening online. So while I don’t agree with all her past actions I do think that she has grown and learned from all of these situations. I think Angelika is a great content creator and a good friend and that’s why I asked her to do this collab in the first place.”
Not even 24 hours later, however, Hannah posted a lengthy apology on her Twitter and YouTube community tab, revoking her initial support for Angelika and publicly denouncing her, citing that she failed to hold Angelika accountable for her actions because they were friends.
Hannah has since been heavily criticised for making her apology public and dropping Angelika as a friend so quickly. Angelika has also been criticised for liking tweets slamming Hannah.
Angelika addressed the controversy in a new video.
Fast forward a couple of days, and Angelika uploaded a new video addressing all the controversy titled, ‘Addressing Kylie Jenner, Dixie D’Amelio, Smokey Glow and more.’
The video was demonetised and created as a fundraiser for the Marsha P. Johnson Institute to support Black transgender people.
Angelika first touches on the backlash she received about comments she made relating to cultural appropriation of Black culture and faking disabilities. She says that she didn’t explain herself properly and rephrased her statements to clarify.
On the Kylie Jenner and Dixie D’Amelio scandals…
On the Kylie Jenner photoshop scandal, Angelika claims her intention was not to slam BIPOC who may have been offended by Kylie’s fake caption but to instead drive home the importance of not spreading fake news, as it takes attention away from the actual issues at hand.
In addressing the Dixie D’Amelio seizure report, she says her comment was not intended in the context of “who cares” if Dixie was faking seizures, but rather “who cares” about the story, as it was sent in by an anonymous profile via DM to a fellow commentary channel and somehow swept the internet.
On blocking women of colour for calling her out…
Angelika admits she was wrong in how she interacted with Diana and other women of colour in her comment section and DMs. She blames her behaviour on feeling “angry” and “anxious” over the criticism she was getting and explains that she didn’t know how to handle it.
However, Angelika maintains that she’s only ever blocked 53 people in her 5 years on Twitter and based on profile photos, most appear to be white or white-passing.
On her alleged transphobic and anti-semitic behaviour…
The YouTuber insists she is not— and has never been— transphobic or anti-semitic. She claims that she has yet to be presented with evidence of this behaviour from any of her accusers and apologises to any fans she might have misgendered via DM if they did not have their pronouns in their bios.
On her friendship with Smokey Glow…
Angelika alleges that Hannah continued to receive messages that Angelika was transphobic after she posted her pinned comment. She says Hannah DM’d her about this and told Angelika that she “went looking through the internet” for an hour to find evidence of Angelika’s transphobia but could not find any. She then allegedly told Angelika that despite having no evidence, she was “going to go along with the story anyway”.
Hannah responded to this on Twitter, calling it a “gross misrepresentation” of their conversation.
Angelika claims that Hannah “went along” with public opinion and denounced their friendship because she couldn’t handle the backlash. Angelika claims that Hannah’s public statement on Twitter and the YouTube community tab caused the transphobia accusations to explode and when Angelika approached Hannah with her side of the story, she apparently accused Angelika of gaslighting her.
Smokey Glow responded to Angelika Oles in her own video.
To round out the saga, Hannah has now responded to Angelika’s accusations and addressed her cutting ties with her former friend after days of speculation.
Hannah’s video, titled ‘Giving My Perspective: Angelika Oles, Drama Channels and More‘ was demonetised and the YouTuber said she will be matching Angelika’s donation as well.
She starts off by saying that she was made aware of Angelika’s possible microaggressions in silencing POC voices back in August but when she confronted her about it, Angelika downplayed the situation.
After receiving tons of backlash for her collaboration, Hannah admits that her initial pinned comment defending Angelika was a mistake but claims she wanted to believe her friend was telling the truth.
Hannah insists that Angelika downplayed the accusations and after public pressure began mounting, she took matters into her own hands and posted a statement that she would be looking into the rumours about Angelika.
This allegedly set Angelika off and Hannah received a barrage of angry messages calling her a sheep for following the herd. Hannah says Angelika shut down any alternative viewpoints that she raised and refused to take accountability. She also claims Angelika manipulated critics attempting to educate her in her DMs.
On Angelika’s claims that Hannah denounced their friendship because she didn’t want the hate, Hannah says she told Angelika she wanted to delete the pinned comment defending her because it wasn’t going over well and made them both look bad.
Hannah admits her hypocrisy in building a channel off of calling out influencers for similar behaviour but failing to recognise it in her own friends. However, she does back the that she has yet to find any evidence of transphobia from Angelika’s online footprint.
Hannah then goes on to address her messy history with other fellow drama channels including Rich Lux, Nick Schnider, and Dustin Dailey… but that’s for another article.