Monalisa Perez was charged with manslaughter after she accidentally shot Pedro Ruiz in the chest while making a YouTube video for the couple’s vlog.
I have so many thoughts and opinions on this, and none of them are good. As someone who sometimes struggles with creating and maintaining an audience on YouTube, I understand the unique challenges that professionals in the industry face. Let me be clear here, though: THESE ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS. These two are a couple of entitled children who “wanted to get famous” which often entails doing very risky and stupid things in the pursuit of metrics such as “Watch Time”, “Views”, and “Audience Retention”. There are consummate professionals on YouTube that do dangerous things on the regular, but they have the knowledge, experience, and the training to do these sorts of things correctly and safely. There are extremely popular chuckleheads such as Cody Reeder and Grant Thompson who do “backyard science” with little regard for proper safety precautions and inspire other “YouTube scientists” to perform ever more risky “experiments” in order to rise above the noise and be seen. I appreciate that people like Lauri and Anni Vuohensilta or Brian Brushwood and Jason Murphy go through the trouble of explaining the hazards and safety precautions they go through before performing stunts, but the difference here is that they are all seasoned professionals in their fields or they very conspicuously incorporate seasoned professionals to advise on the stunt.
These two ass-clowns come from the “Mythbusters” school of “science” (ask me about my beef with Mythbusters sometime) where one trial decides the outcome of the experiment. This kid shot a book with a Desert Eagle, saw that it happened to stop the bullet (that one time), then tried to replicate the “experiment” with a live subject. That live subject is now dead. Now there are two small children that will grow up without a father (and possibly without a mother, that much remains to be seen). This is one of the myriad of problems that come from platforms that offer a chance at “instant fame”. The cynic in me says they got what they deserve (and the instant fame they wanted, ironically), but the compassionate human being in me wonders I can do from my platform to stop these sorts of tragedies from happening–whether it’s by education or by example.