The American Youtube star Jake Paul is under fire after recording footage during the recent riots and looting at the Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale, Arizona. Outraged posts on social media have accused the 23-year-old Youtuber of participating in the looting and rioting, despite having a net worth of over $19 million. The video below shows Paul in a mask wandering through the mall in the midst of the chaos, but he is not seen taking any items or destroying any property.
FUCK JAKE PAUL he’s at fashion square looting while people are protesting n being teargassed downtown pic.twitter.com/jM18sBU80L
— sam (@HELLAGHOUL) May 31, 2020
Paul has responded to the allegations by saying that he was just there as a journalist to document what was happening, and said he did not participate in any of the illegal activities. He also said that he was in the city throughout the day to support the peaceful protests that were happening. At one point during the short video that was taken of the incident, Paul and his photographer Andrew Blue can be heard talking about how police pointed guns at them and shot at them with tear gas during the peaceful protests that took place in the city earlier that day.
Still, despite these clarifications, the general sentiment on the internet seems pretty unforgiving towards Paul, with many posters refusing to believe his version of events.
Jake Paul, a millionaire, is looting a mall so that he could post a YouTube video about it and add more to his wealth. You can’t make this shit up.
— Walt (@UberKryptonian) May 31, 2020
Jake Paul hijacking the black lives matter movement to loot a mall for youtube content is one of the most Jake Paul moves I could imagine, what an absolute waste of space he and his brother are
— yeah i’m still emo, so what? (@ThyArtIsMemes) May 31, 2020
Jake Paul looting and using the death of unarmed black men by police for vlog views is disgusting but it’s exactly who he is.
he didn’t march in solidarity with anyone he showed up hours after to loot a mall for VIEWS. Jake cares about no one but himself & money. he needs help.
— Zach Sang (@zachsang) May 31, 2020
Jake Paul became famous when the music video for his 2017 single “It’s Everyday Bro” became one of the most hated videos on YouTube. The song received a widely negative response, earning it the rank of seventh-most disliked YouTube video of all time. He later played the role of Dirk Mann on the Disney Channel series Bizaardvark. Since then, Paul has become more notorious for getting in trouble than he has for any of his work.
On July 18, 2017, it was reported that Paul’s neighbors in the Beverly Grove neighborhood of Los Angeles were meeting with city council members and police officials about filing a class-action public nuisance lawsuit against Paul because he made his home address public, which led crowds of his fans to gather in the neighborhood, prompting noise complaints from his neighbors. On April 24, 2018, it was reported that Paul was being sued by Cobra Acquisitions, the company that owns the house, for $2.5 million.
In February of 2020, Paul announced that he would partner with Los Angeles-based brand development group GenZ Holdings Inc. to create a subscription platform aimed at teaching children how to build an online presence for $19.99 per month. “The Financial Freedom Movement” promises to give subscribers access to “Jake Paul’s personal experience, rituals and secret formula” and “cutting edge mentorship, coaching, and training”. However, Paul’s critics have called the program a scam, and have said that it sends a dangerous message to his young fanbase.
It is likely that Paul will quickly recover from this recent controversy, just as he has many times in the past. It seems that much of his audience just watches him to see what he does next, and this type of troll always seems to draw clicks in the modern age of the internet.