Few things are banned or off-limits in my house. I don’t forbid R-rated movies or books with foul humor. We don’t have screen time limits, or food restrictions. And I don’t even get upset when my kids swear — as long as they aren’t being mean and use it in the right context.
But there is one thing that is banned in our house — Jake Paul and Logan Paul. Or as I like to call them, the Douchebag Bros.
If you don’t have a teen or tween, you might be fortunate enough to have never heard about the Logan brothers until recently. And if you still don’t know who Logan Paul is after the vile and horrific YouTube stunt in which he shared actual footage of a dead body hanging from a tree after an apparent suicide, consider yourself extremely lucky.
If you have heard of them, you probably know that they are brothers who rose to fame making attention-seeking videos on the now-defunct social media platform Vine and now YouTube “superstardom.” Jake Paul even had a brief stint on the Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark, where he annoyed parents with his self-aggrandizing brand of humor.
But even before Logan Paul’s most appalling “stunt,” there were plenty of reasons to hate them. They are brash and reek of white privilege and entitlement. And while I will grant that they are entrepreneurs of sorts for capitalizing on a new medium, their “talent” contributes nothing to the world. They pride themselves on building a career that consists of mockery and self-absorption. Jake Paul bragged that he was more powerful than the media giant that helped build his career, saying “Even Disney—off the record, but on the record—knows that I have the power. They love me because of that.”
Hell, Jake Paul even managed to piss off his entire neighborhood, proudly boasting, “the neighbors hate me.” And when he was told that neighbors complained about the street being a “circus,” he responded: “I mean, but people like going to circuses, right?” Umm, NO.
After I endured what felt like hours of my sons playing and singing along to Jake Paul’s obnoxious ode to himself, “Everyday Bro” (one of the most disliked YouTube videos of all time), I eventually put my put down a few months ago and said ENOUGH! It wasn’t just that their braggadocious behavior made me throw up in my mouth, it was the absolutely abhorrent message that their personas were sending to my sons — which was basically that being as loud, self-absorbed, and rude as possible will get you fame, money and power. And believe me, that is the last message my son’s need to hear in our already toxic, patriarchal world.
So one afternoon a couple months ago, I told my kids that they were not allowed to watch or listen to Jake or Logan Paul in our house anymore. At all. And, I wasn’t budging on this one.
I’m not naive enough to think that my kids don’t sing their awful YouTube chants at school or that they don’t watch their videos at other friends’ houses. Of course, they do. But because they are still young and my husband and I haven’t lost all street cred with them, our opinions still matter — at least a little. And I like to think that because we are so laissez faire about things like R-rate movies, swearing, and screen time in general, that our prohibition on this means something. It isn’t just another “you can’t do this” rule, but a message that hate — of any kind — will not be tolerated.
Not in this house, at least.