Kevin Samuels, a Polarizing YouTube Persona, Dies at 57

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Kevin Samuels, a YouTube and Instagram persona whose blunt life-style recommendation aimed toward Black women and men drew a legion of admiring followers and a refrain of detractors who condemned his views as outdated and merciless, died on Thursday in Atlanta. He was 57.

His loss of life was introduced by two mates and fellow YouTube personalities, Dennis Spurling and Melanie King. Mr. Spurling, who can also be a lawyer, recognized himself as a household spokesman in an Instagram publish.

The Atlanta police mentioned he was discovered unresponsive on the ground of his condo. No trigger was cited.

Describing himself as a picture marketing consultant, Mr. Samuels had remodeled lately from a private stylist right into a social media movie star who constructed his following on a picture of plain-spoken, hypermasculine authority, often carrying a finely tailor-made go well with. The strategy introduced him greater than 1,000,000 followers on each YouTube and Instagram, and plenty of of his supporters considered him as taking brave stands for what they referred to as conventional values.

In his movies and posts, Mr. Samuels urged his followers to stick to inflexible gender roles; he largely evaluated girls for his or her look and youth, males for his or her assertiveness and cash. He criticized girls whom he noticed as too career-focused, and requested questions suggesting girls’s curiosity in males was based mostly totally on their earnings: “How a lot do you cost for submission?”

The messages have been repugnant to many, particularly girls, who mentioned his views have been misogynistic and promoted a model of masculinity that harmed the boys who listened to him. Greater than 30,000 individuals signed an internet petition asking YouTube and Instagram to take away Mr. Samuels, saying he had “galvanized a group of males of all races and nationalities within the outspoken hatred of ladies.”

On Thursday, when phrase of his loss of life first surfaced, Mr. Samuels grew to become one of many main subjects on Twitter, with most of the most amplified voices talking out towards him.

“Kevin Samuels has mainly made a revenue and has made his profile constantly perpetuating dangerous stereotypes about Black women and men,” Ernest Owens, a journalist, mentioned on Friday, including that “lots of his rhetoric and commentary was rooted in misogyny.”

The feedback on Mr. Samuels’s YouTube and Instagram movies revealed a group, principally however not solely composed of males, who seemed as much as him. One commenter responded to a latest video by calling Mr. Samuels an “inspiration” to Black males all over the world, and hundreds of others indicated help for the remark.

Kevin Samuels was born on March 13, 1965, in response to Mr. Spurling, who mentioned he was survived by his mom and a daughter.

Mr. Samuels had an early curiosity in vogue, telling The Oklahoma Gazette in 2016 that as a baby he “laid out my pajamas and made positive they have been pressed.” He credited his mom with piquing that curiosity.

He attended the College of Oklahoma, the place he studied chemical engineering, in response to his LinkedIn web page. He had a profession in advertising and marketing earlier than leaving the trade in 2013 and pivoting to his personal picture consulting agency. An early enterprise glided by the identify Made Males Picture Consulting.

Within the early years there was little of the sharp-tongued content material that might later launch him to stardom, as he targeted initially on private vogue and self-improvement for professionals.

“Individuals can count on to obtain high-level vogue and magnificence concepts distilled right down to the sensible degree that the common, on a regular basis man and lady wants, finds helpful and might instantly act upon,” Mr. Samuels instructed Uncovering Oklahoma in 2016.

However he later found a method that might assist his following skyrocket, based mostly on harsh assessments of contemporary girls and the dynamics of courting and relationships. A lot of his movies, searching for to clarify why individuals weren’t in relationships, centered on the inherent worth of women and men, based mostly on a set of conventional standards.

In 2020, in certainly one of his first viral hits, a video that assessed a girl as “common at greatest” obtained tens of millions of views. He referred to girls over 35 as “leftovers,” echoing a line he claimed was utilized by the Chinese language Communist Get together.

“When you have made it to 35 and you might be single, you’re a leftover lady,” he mentioned. “You might be what’s left. Males know that there’s something doubtless mistaken with you. Whether or not you need to hear it or not, I’m going to go there with you. I’m telling you the reality that you just don’t need to hear.”

On social media, Mr. Samuels outlined a view of relationships that put males in a dominant place and mentioned girls ought to settle for infidelity by males however not be untrue themselves.

“Profitable males cheat,” he just lately wrote on Instagram. “Both you’ll take care of it or not.”

The strategy seemed to be profitable. Along with no matter income he accrued from his followings on Instagram and YouTube, as of Friday afternoon greater than 1,700 individuals had paid between $5 and $20 per thirty days for his publication.

Johnny Diaz and Alex Traub contributed reporting.

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