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Kevin Samuels, a Polarizing YouTube Character, Dies at 57

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Kevin Samuels, a YouTube and Instagram persona whose blunt way of life 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toward Black women and men drew a legion of admiring followers and a refrain of detractors who condemned his views as outdated and merciless, died on Thursday in Atlanta.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 demise was introduced by two associates 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 put up.

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

Describing himself as a picture guide, Mr. Samuels had reworked in recent times 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 swimsuit. 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 primarily based totally on their revenue: “How a lot do you cost for submission?”

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

On Thursday, when phrase of his demise first surfaced, Mr. Samuels turned one of many main matters on Twitter, with most of the most amplified voices talking out in opposition to him.

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

The feedback on Mr. Samuels’s YouTube and Instagram movies revealed a neighborhood, largely however not completely composed of males, who regarded as much as him. One commenter responded to a latest video by calling Mr. Samuels an “inspiration” to Black males around the globe, and hundreds of others indicated help for the remark.

Kevin Samuels was born on March 13, 1965, in line with 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 toddler he “laid out my pajamas and made positive they had been pressed.” He credited his mom with piquing that curiosity.

He attended the College of Oklahoma, the place he studied chemical engineering, in line with his LinkedIn web page. He had a profession in advertising 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 may later launch him to stardom, as he centered initially on private vogue and self-improvement for professionals.

“Individuals can anticipate to obtain high-level vogue and elegance concepts distilled all the way down to the sensible stage that the typical, on a regular basis man and girl wants, finds helpful and might instantly act upon,” Mr. Samuels informed Uncovering Oklahoma in 2016.

However he later found a formulation that may assist his following skyrocket, primarily based on harsh assessments of recent girls and the dynamics of courting and relationships. Lots of his movies, looking for to elucidate why folks weren’t in relationships, centered on the inherent worth of women and men, primarily based on a set of conventional standards.

In 2020, in one in every of his first viral hits, a video that assessed a lady as “common at finest” 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 Social gathering.

“When you have made it to 35 and you’re single, you’re a leftover girl,” he mentioned. “You’re what’s left. Males know that there’s something doubtless incorrect with you. Whether or not you wish to hear it or not, I’m going to go there with you. I’m telling you the reality that you simply don’t wish 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 not too long ago wrote on Instagram. “Both you’ll cope with it or not.”

The strategy gave the impression 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 folks had paid between $5 and $20 per thirty days for his e-newsletter.

Johnny Diaz and Alex Traub contributed reporting.


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