YouTube feeds off of controversy, and the 22-year-old millionaire and online personality Jake Paul is not immune to it. While fans were still focusing on the feud between YouTube personalities and former friends Tati Westbrook and James Charles, Paul used the video-sharing platform to call out the comedian Cody Ko for supposed cyberbullying.
The 28-year-old comedian Cody Kolodziejzyk, known on the internet as Cody Ko, gained popularity on Vine, like Jake Paul and his brother Logan Paul, but Ko is now most known for his videos reacting to cringey content, from cheesy music videos to inappropriate Instagram comedians with his friend and other former Viner, Noel Miller.
In Ko’s and Miller’s podcast, called “Tiny Meat Gang,” he mentions that some of his most popular uploads, which reach an audience mostly made up of 18- to 24-year-olds, poke fun at the Paul brothers’ content, which reaches a much younger audience on YouTube.
Jake Paul has his own history with controversy, as does Logan Paul, who is most well-known for uploading a video of a deceased man who committed suicide in Aokigahara, or the Suicide Forest, in Japan.
The clash between Jake Paul and Ko began when Jeff Wittek, another former Viner and internet personality, invited Cody Ko to be a guest on his show, Jeff’s Barbershop.
Wittek, who is a hairstylist and barber, interviews people while making them uncomfortable with scripted or real situations. Wittek relishes the reactions he gets in his videos. “The whole concept of Jeff’s Barbershop,” Wittek commented, “is to keep the guest on edge while getting a haircut from a new barber that is slightly psychotic.”
Because Paul has been the subject of many of Ko’s jokes, Wittek invited Paul to appear in the same Jeff’s Barbershop episode as Ko.
In his own video entitled, “confronting internet bully cody ko…” posted on May 18, Paul said that his supposed friend Wittek invited him to confront Ko.
However, at the end of Wittek’s episode of Jeff’s Barbershop, called “HOW TO GET A FREE PROMO FROM JAKE PAUL! Ft. Cody ko,” Jeff admits to manipulating the situation and only inviting Paul in order to gain more popularity and viewers.
Paul explained that his intentions on Wittek’s show were to call out Ko for bullying and encourage his fans and others to “cancel” Ko. “There’s this d——bag named Cody Ko, and we are about to f—k his life up,” Paul said at the start of his video, before showing examples from Ko’s videos that he believed to be cyberbullying. After approximately eight minutes of ranting about how much he hates cyberbullies and Cody Ko, he finally confronts Ko.
In Paul’s video, he jerks his arm and runs toward a seated Ko, who smiles and briefly tries to shake his hand. Even after Wittek told Paul to come into the show nicer in a new take of the scene, Paul just began to ramble on about Ko cyberbullying kids.
Ko was incredulous at the accusation. “Kids?” Ko asked, “You’re an adult. Which kids?” But Paul deflected the question and declined to name the kids he was referring to in his earlier statement.
Ko apologized to Paul but said that he could not tell if he was joking, and he later explained how confused he was by the interaction in Episode 83 of the “Tiny Meat Gang” podcast. According to both Ko and Paul, they turned off all the cameras to discuss Paul’s claim that Ko was a cyberbully.
After leaving the set of Jeff’s Barbershop, Paul re-watched his footage and encouraged his viewers to help Ko see what was wrong with his negative videos by giving him backlash, aka “cancelling” him.
Although the majority of comments on both videos support Ko rather than Paul, Paul has not addressed the feud since the video’s publication, while Ko addressed it on his podcast and posted a video titled “i’m a cyber bully” on May 22. He also took to joking about it on Twitter. “hey guys whats up just logged on sorry i was busy cyber bullying people,” tweeted @codyko on May 19.
hey guys whats up just logged on sorry i was busy cyber bullying people
— Cody Ko (@codyko) May 19, 2019
Many other YouTubers — including PewDiePie and MattySmokes, who was a subject of Cody Ko’s videos — created videos commenting on the drama and defending Ko.
Paul’s attempt to “cancel” Ko, as well as other feuds currently highlighted in the media, reflect the negative ideas that Paul claimed he viewed in Ko’s videos. Many viewers believe Paul’s message is hypocritical and that his content’s messages are actually more negative than Ko’s content.
Paul has also been involved in several other controversies, including claims made of physical and sexual abuse by people who were living in his Team 10 house, as well as noise complaints from neighbors that led to Cobra Acquisitions, the company that owned the house, to sue him.
Paul recently uploaded several other videos that feature the word “confront,” such as “CONFRONTING FAZE BANKS FACE TO FACE” posted on May 5 and “I Confronted Lil Xan For Cheating On Tana..” on May 21.
Another famous YouTube personality, Shane Dawson, even created an eight-part documentary web series, titled “The Mind of Jake Paul,” exploring what seems to be sociopathy of Jake Paul and his brother.
Yet, some truth lies in Paul’s twisted accusations. Although Cody Ko is not cyberbullying people in his videos, the overall atmosphere on YouTube has become progressively more negative in recent years.
It feels like there is a new YouTube feud each week, and whether or not they are faked, real or exaggerated for publicity, the YouTube community is becoming toxic.