The internet’s busiest music fascist? In the now infamous FADER article, Anthony Fantano was called the most famous music critic on Earth before being linked to alt-right political communities. They made claims that painted him as an “edgelord”, that is, someone who intentionally tramples on delicate topics in order to shock or offend. Specifically, they made references to him mocking black musicians and intentionally appealing to the alt-right in order to generate ad-revenue on his secondary “meme channel”. This includes hosting well-known alt-righters Sam Hyde and Sargon of Akkad on his podcast.
The backlash from the FADER expose has been massive. You can check the article we did about it here. It’s impossible to know exactly how YouTube’s algorithms work, but Fantano’s videos lost income to the point that he deleted all videos on his secondary account. “THATISTHEPLAN is dead. YT continues to demonetize every video regardless of tags, content, titles. There’s really no use,” read the tweet he sent out on October 3rd. Many believe this is a ploy to divert attention from the content of his videos to YouTube’s politics. Additionally, four shows in conjunction with the 10 year anniversary of The Needle Drop have been cancelled.
Well today, a week after the FADER article was posted, Fantano has replied in video format. In the 20 minute reply, he refutes any intentional connection with alt-right internet spheres, and chalks up the FADER article to sensationalism and not understanding jokes. “The whole narrative of the article is that I’m up here, pulling the strings, trying to figure out ways to get the alt-right to watch me, muahahaha” he said, in reference to the FADER’s claims. His most succinct statement came at the end of the video: “The [Fader] writer could have done some legitimate research here, but instead he’s trying to paint me as being in bed with a racist political movement based off memetic humour.” In reference to his connection with 4chan, he said “It’s almost like I do music reviews and that’s relevant to the discussion on the [4chan music] board or something.”
These these allegations have seriously hurt Fantano’s public image, yet his fan base appears unfazed. After hearing both sides, it’s hard to gauge whether the content on his secondary channel was truly inflammatory and racist, or just obnoxious. It seems that anyone with an opinion is in one of two idea camps: that The FADER put out a sensationalized smear campaign, or that Fantano’s humor is part of an incredibly toxic ideology. The direction his future videos take will likely determine how he is ultimately viewed by the wider public.