YouTubers who made videos "calling" Kobe Bryant delete channels following backlash
29 January 2020, 16:42 | Updated: 29 January 2020, 16:46
The YouTubers are being compared to JayStation, who recently faced criticism for his YouTube videos.
The news of Kobe Bryant's death alongside his daughter Gianna and seven others (Christina Mauser, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Ara Zobayan, Payton Chester and Sarah Chester) on Sunday (26 Jan) in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, shocked the world.
Tributes from heartbroken celebrities and the public rolled in, while several stars honoured the basketball legend at the 2020 Grammy Awards that same evening. However, some haven't been so respectful. YouTubers have been trying to capitalise off of Kobe's passing with a gross stunt.
YouTuber Jolto, born Josh Giles, claimed that he has spoken with Kobe following his death in a video titled, "CALLING KOBE BRYANT AT 3 AM! *OMG HE ACTUALLY ANSWERED* (HES NOT DEAD)".
Jolto claimed that Kobe was texting him from beyond the grave after he found his number on the "dark web".
The format of contacting deceased celebrities isn't exactly new. JayStation has famously (and controversially) been doing it for a while. He recently contacted his deceased girlfriend Alexia Marano using a ouija board. However, it soon turned out that his girlfriend was very much alive.
"If you didn't already know the world-famous basketball player Kobe has unfortunately passed away and I just want to say all my thoughts and prayers to his family guys," Jolto began. "This is honestly so sad… Well, without further ado let's try and have a conversation with him."
Jolto said he felt "so bad" about doing it, but that he would "leak" Kobe's number if people wanted in the comment section. Next, messages popped up on his phone from someone he claimed is Kobe. The texts said he "didn’t want anything to do with the mainstream media anymore" and was "looking for a way out". Jolto then calls the number and a distorted voice picks up. "Help me. I told you not to call," it says.
Another YouTuber named ItsJack, real name Jack Martin, did exactly the same and claimed Kobe was alive. Again, he promised to share Kobe's number if people like the video and subscribed to his channel. "No ads will be on this video because I don't think I should be making money from this video," he said. "But, all my prayers go out to his family and friends and everything. This video is not supposed to do anything bad to him or anything."
Needless to say, the internet was disgusted that both YouTubers were using the tragedy for content.
this kid reuploaded with tags... his channel is jolto, he disabled comments pic.twitter.com/5g0N8MnakZ— BLACKSPERM #1 FAN (@LiThePear) January 27, 2020
This guy is absolutely terrible he posted a "calling kobe at 3 am challenge" vid and its completely terrible he got so much heat he took it down this is wat u get if morgz and jarvis fucked and had a kid that did jaystation content#youtube pic.twitter.com/4OvBlGkBmk— JBlack (@jetblackthreat) January 28, 2020
lmao as if the kid in my new video that made a 3am video on kobe bryant has had the cheek to file a false privacy complaint against me pic.twitter.com/L8dZWLYu76— Memeulous (@Memeulous) January 28, 2020
literally mere hours after Kobe Bryant died, there was one of those fucking 3AM videos made about it. How low do you have to fucking stoop man? It doesn't get you any clout or anything it just makes you seem like a massive cockhead.— Alastair (@P1nchOfSalt) January 27, 2020
Jolto and ItsJack's YouTube channels have now been deleted, but their videos have been re-uploaded by other YouTube channels. Before ItsJack deleted his account, he said he had "messed up" and would be posting an apology video soon.