ProJared is a gaming personality that has had a tumultuous couple of months. In May of 2019, Jared announced on Twitter that he was divorcing his cosplayer wife Heidi, it kicked off a shitstorm that involved allegations of cheating, manipulation and sexual interactions with underage fans.
The fallout from all these accusations resulted in ruined friendships and a significant hit to ProJared’s career. Normal Boots and Game Grumps cut ties with Jared and his YouTube channel took a spectacular hit; 25% of ProJared’s subscribers were lost bringing his channel below one million subscribers. An unprecedented subscriber loss although James Charles would loose more, Jared's net percentage loss is still the largest in YouTube history.
The dust had settled and everyone was starting to move on to the next wave of drama until August of 2019 when Projared broke his silence and explained to all of us that we’ve been lied to. The majority of the video addressed the most damning allegations that he had lewd interactions with underage fans. Jared had receipts of these allegations and disputed each one. While this remains his words against his accusers', a reasonable person could favor Jared’s version of events pending any contrary evidence.
Jared briefly refuted the accusations of cheating with his wife Heidi, but stopped short of blowing the door wide open citing ongoing litigation. You’ll just have to take his word that he didn’t cheat on his wife. Heidi tells a different story of events and honestly both version of events paint a picture of a dysfunctional relationship involving two emotionally immature people who probably shouldn't have gotten married in the first place. Jared may not have cheated, but he was far from a devoted husband.
Most people have been waiting to forgive him for months. Since Jared posted his video clearing the air, his subscriber count has bounced back gaining about 100 thousand subscribers in 5 days. Popular channels who covered the initial scandal deleted or de-listed their videos. Those who were happy to throw Jared under the bus when this whole thing started are ready to move past this whole mess and pretend that they were on his side since the beginning.
But just how good is ProJared’s word? Personally I’m still soured by this whole ordeal. I never unsubscribed from Jared’s main channel and I had held out hope that he wasn’t grooming children like some other “clean” YouTubers have done in the past. But I’m not ready to jump on the ProJared hype train just yet.
Why did ProJared take so long to respond to these very serious allegations? Why release a video now instead of when this issue was still fresh in everyone’s minds? He states that he had to get all of his ducks in a row before making a statement about this issue. And he should. There were serious accusations being thrown around that could have landed him in legal trouble had he misspoke. That’s the worst case scenario, another scenario would have been that his reputation would have been irreversibly tarnished. The internet loves to pick apart every nook and cranny of a story. They have built timelines up and are really quick to point out discrepancies in it. The narrative had been stacked against him so it may not have been wise to comment while the internet was still upset with him.
The two Charlies where subjected to some intense scrutiny when they presented their version of events and eventually deleted their tweets. Jared has pounced on that suggesting that they did this for the attention and money.
While I’m happy to trust that Jared didn’t do anything illegal, there is still that icky feeling in the back of my head that Jared isn’t the person who he appears to be on YouTube.
The puppy dog eyes at the end of his video where he asks everyone to come back and be his fans again doesn’t seem genuine. If you are to trust Heidi’s version of events that Jared is a manipulator who will say and do anything to get back on your good graces, you can see what I mean.
I’m not saying everything that Heidi is saying is true, I’m saying that we shouldn’t take everything Jared says about his relationship as gospel either. I’m far from perfect and I’m not going to judge Jared on some higher moral ground here. But it’s really hard to put a lot of stock into a person that you just watch from time to time on the internet.
If he continues to put long form content then I can separate the content from the drama. But he had already slowed down on such content for years and my connection with him had faded long before this debacle erupted.
Jared grew his audience by being relatable. His derpy persona made it easy to get into his content. Now there’s something deeper to ProJared and now I don’t think I can relate to him anymore. I guess that’s what happens when you treat a YouTube personality as a genuine representation of how that person is in real life.
I don’t fault any one who wants to support ProJared after all this but take his advice and think for yourselves. 250 thousand subscribers were willing to throw him away without the full story and 100 thousand are willing to forgive and forget after a 40 minute video.
The pendulum can swing again at any moment. Which way will you go when it swings the other way? Will you still trust Jared's versions of events? Or will you jump on the dog pile of nasty memes if someone disputes his videos full stop?