Anthony Padilla
The channel is both fun and empowering. (Image via Instagram)

How Anthony Padilla Is Using His Channel to Help People

The former Smosh YouTuber is offering a voice to those who are often oppressed and stereotyped, all in a judgment-free and educational way.

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Anthony Padilla
The channel is both fun and empowering. (Image via Instagram)

The former Smosh YouTuber is offering a voice to those who are often oppressed and stereotyped, all in a judgment-free and educational way.

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a specific group of people is like? Whether it be an overlooked profession, a group of people with a certain condition or maybe those who are dealing with the current pandemic? One YouTuber is bringing attention to these groups of people, and his name is Anthony Padilla.

Padilla started off his YouTube career as one of the founding members of the popular channel Smosh. He was part of the channel until 2017, when he decided to create his own content.

Some of Padilla’s content is a little different from other YouTubers, which is one of the reasons why I like him. While Padilla did start off in a more comedic route, like with Smosh, he decided that he could use his platform for something a little different.

Some of his most recent content has focused on people. These are often people that others may overlook or only see as stereotypes. The series is called “I Spend the Day with Blank.” Padilla speaks to various groups of people about what their lives are like, so we can learn from them. Padilla keeps his humor in the videos, but he is still serious about what is being talked about.

He Spoke With Autistic People

In one video, Padilla spent some time with autistic people, and after reaching out to the community to find out what they prefer, he pointed out in a pinned comment that most autistic people prefer identity-first language, rather than person-first language. He showed that he is sensitive to what people may want. Personally, both are fine with me, but I appreciate that he asked people what they prefer to be called.

In the video, he was understanding and kind, which is the example that everyone should be following. Padilla did not talk down to them or talk to them like they were babies; he spoke to them like you would to anyone else.

I also appreciate that Padilla invited autistic women on his show, because women are not diagnosed as often as men. Thank you, Anthony, for acknowledging that we exist.

Padilla wasn’t bothered by eye contact, and as someone who is autistic, eye contact can be a struggle for me. People have told me that it bothers them when I don’t look in their eyes, even though I try. I wish more people were like Padilla when it came to things like that. Sometimes we just can’t help it.

He Spoke With Those Affected by the Coronavirus

Padilla made sure to bring attention to those who are impacted the most by COVID-19. He sat down — virtually — with people who survived the virus, with people who are immunocompromised and with frontline health workers. The profits of those three videos went to different charities that help people impacted by the pandemic.

Padilla interviewed three COVID-19 survivors, all of them different ages, debunking the myth that only people of a certain age can get the virus. They talk about what it’s like having the virus, showing that it is real and not a hoax, as many people say it is.

One guy, named Gary, said he was isolated in a bio-containment room for 10 days, which would be terrifying for anyone. They even called out Trump for calling it the “Chinese virus,” because all it does is divide people. As one girl explained, “We didn’t call Ebola the African virus”.

In another video, Padilla interviewed people who have conditions that make the virus more likely to kill them. This hit close to home for me because my brother has cystic fibrosis, and he is also an essential worker at a warehouse. He can barely see my parents because they don’t want to risk getting him sick.

The people in the video talk about how it feels when someone minimizes the effects of the virus by saying, “Oh it’s only the elderly and the sick” at risk, because that sick or elderly person can be someone’s everything. They even spoke out against the protesters who are fighting to reopen the country.

Padilla explained that he had so many people interested in being in the video that he had a hard time choosing. He admitted that he was glad that people trusted him enough to share their story and provide a safe space for them.

Padilla also interviewed health care workers who are on the frontlines helping those who have the coronavirus. They talked about how their hours have changed since the virus happened, how they are treated by people and how it is affecting their loved ones.

One nurse admitted that there have been assaults on health care workers because people are worried that they are contaminated, and they are being told not to wear their scrubs to and from work. This video really demonstrated how we should show more appreciation to health care workers; they are putting their own lives on the line to save others.

His Videos Are a Judgement-Free Zone

One episode hit close to home for Padilla. He spoke to people who have agoraphobia, which is an extreme anxiety disorder. He dedicated the episode to his mom, who has the disorder. I loved the part where he said in the caption that she was not a burden, showing how much love he has for his mother.

Padilla did not judge the people he spoke to, but simply had a conversation with them. He has also had conversations with strippers, furries, Area 51 troopers, mall Santas and many others. While these people may be different, they are human, just like everyone else, and they deserve respect like everyone else.

Even with all his recent success, Padilla never forgot how he started or where he came from. The Smosh channel will turn 15 this year. He remains good friends with the cast, especially with fellow co-founder, Ian Hecox. Despite not being on the same channel, they are still good friends; they still wish each other happy birthday, and they still mess with each other.

While many YouTubers are making slime and doing random challenges, Padilla is using his channel as a platform for people to have a safe space. Padilla shows that just because you are a big name, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make time for those who are everyday people. More YouTubers should follow his lead.

You can follow Padilla on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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Lisa Lilianstrom

Northern Illinois University
Journalism, minor in Communications

Everyone deserves to have their stories heard. Writer, student, artist — plans to one day travel the world with the love of my life.

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