h3h3Productions

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h3h3Productions
h3h3Productions channel logo
YouTube information
Channels
Years active2011–present
Genre
Subscribers12.72 million (combined)
Total views3.45 billion (combined)
NetworkIndependent
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2015
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2016

Last updated: August 3, 2022

h3h3Productions is a YouTube channel hosted by Ethan Klein and Hila Klein, an Israeli-American husband and wife duo. The majority of their content consists of reaction videos and sketch comedy in which they satirize internet culture. The H3 Podcast is their podcast channel that has been running since 2017.

History[edit]

Ethan Klein in 2017

Overview[edit]

h3h3Productions is a YouTube channel which was launched in 2011 by Ethan Klein and Hila Klein, an American husband and wife duo.[1] The primary format of videos uploaded to the channel involves the Kleins providing critique and commentary in reaction videos, consisting of clips of a source video intermixed with commentary and absurd sketches, a style which has been described as a cross between the works of comedy duo Tim & Eric and the comedic series Mystery Science Theater 3000.[2]

The channel has gained a reputation for critiquing internet trends and a range of online personalities,[3] as well as several YouTube policies.[4][5][6] The pair have reacted to several online controversies, many of which concern poorly received prank videos posted to the site.[4] The Kleins have been noted for criticizing YouTube channels that entice young viewers to participate in online gambling related to the video game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, mainly by trading skins for real-world currency.[7] The Kleins have not uploaded a video to their h3h3Productions YouTube channel since 2020 and have said on their podcasts that they are unlikely to regularly make h3h3Productions-style videos again.

Podcasts[edit]

The Kleins created a podcast titled H3 Podcast which was originally streamed on Twitch before being moved to YouTube in April 2017.[8] Its first episode was uploaded to the H3 Podcast YouTube channel on April 8, 2017, featuring Justin Roiland, co-creator of Rick and Morty.[9] The podcast began with conversational interviews with notable internet personalities such as Pewdiepie, Post Malone and Jake Paul.[10][11]

The channel has since launched several new podcasts called H3 After Dark, H3TV, Leftovers, Off The Rails, all of which currently have new episodes being uploaded on a weekly basis.[12] The podcasts differ in hosts and content such that while H3 After Dark is an unscripted, current affairs podcast co-hosted by both Ethan and Hila Klein, Leftovers is a political podcast during which the co-hosts Ethan Klein and Hasan Piker react to and discuss extreme reactionaries. H3TV and Off The Rails are both hosted by Ethan Klein without a co-host.[13] As well as these four podcasts, Ethan Klein has hosted Frenemies and Families which are two other podcasts that have since ended.

Frenemies was a podcast discussing internet drama, co-hosted by YouTube personality, Trisha Paytas, before they quit.[14][15][16] On the set of Frenemies, Ethan and Paytas' relationship was initially rocky, marked by several large clashes, but they began reconciling their differences in episodes with Dr. Drew.[15] Several Frenemies episodes focused on sexual assault allegations surrounding David Dobrik and The Vlog Squad.[17] Totaling 42 episodes, Frenemies ended in June 2021 after Paytas voiced their disagreements with Ethan and the podcast's production.[18][19] While the podcast received praise for its openness regarding mental illness and was credited for helping break down the social stigma surrounding it,[20] Paytas' comments on Judaism and the Holocaust in particular have been criticized as ignorant and offensive.[21]

The Families podcast was created in response to Paytas unexpectedly quitting Frenemies.[22] Families, which also discussed internet drama as well as focused on Ethan's relationship with his parents, was co-hosted by his mother, Donna Klein and featured his father, Gary Klein.[23][24]

In September 2021, Leftovers, a left-leaning political podcast co-hosted by Hasan Piker and Ethan, was launched. Tubefilter reported that the first episode reached 1 million views a day after being published.[25]

The H3 Podcast has been one of the United States' highest ranking podcasts since late 2020. Radio Online noted a surge in listenership in early 2021, presumably in large part due to attention the public disputes between Ethan and Paytas garnered surrounding Frenemies.[26] Media Monitors ranked the podcast 12th for the second quarter of 2021.[27] In the third quarter of 2021, the podcast was ranked 21st by audience size[28] and 27th by reach in the United States by Edison Research.[29]

Controversies and lawsuits[edit]

Allegations against The Wall Street Journal[edit]

h3h3Productions, alongside several other channels, supported YouTube personality PewDiePie amid a 2017 controversy over jokes about Nazis in one of his videos from January.[30] On February 14, The Wall Street Journal ran a story about PewDiePie's previous references to Adolf Hitler, which brought nine other videos into the debate and elicited frequent discussions on whether media took them out of context.[31] When YouTube subsequently released tools to allow advertisers to avoid offensive videos, Ethan claimed that the tools were overly broad and negatively affected unrelated content, including his own channel.[32]

One of the authors of the Wall Street Journal piece, Jack Nicas, wrote another article on March 24 claiming YouTube did not go far enough to prevent advertising from displaying on videos that might contain racist content. Ethan accused the report of being written selectively to maximize outrage. The article showed a Coca-Cola advert playing on a video of the white supremacist country song "Alabama Nigger" by American singer Johnny Rebel. Upon seeing that the video was not contributing to the uploader's income, Ethan alleged that Nicas had used an altered screenshot. Hours later, he was informed that the video was indeed monetized, but on behalf of a copyright claim rather than at the choice or to the benefit of the uploader. He withdrew his accusation in response, and The Wall Street Journal released a statement that it stood by the authenticity of the screenshots.[33][34][24][35]

Hosseinzadeh v. Klein[edit]

In April 2016, Matt Hosseinzadeh, an American YouTube personality who goes by "MattHossZone" and "Bold Guy", filed a civil action against the Kleins for copyright infringement in a video on the h3h3Productions channel.[36][37] Hosseinzadeh claims that he initially contacted the Kleins "to politely ask them to remove [his] content from their video" but that they refused. His lawyer claimed that the video used more than 70% of his work "while contributing nothing substantive to it".[38][39]

After a video on this was released by h3h3Productions the following month, fellow YouTuber Philip DeFranco started a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help raise money for the Kleins' legal fees, citing the need to protect fair use on YouTube.[40] On May 26, 2016, the Kleins announced that the $130,000 raised will go into an escrow account called the "Fair Use Protection Account" (FUPA), overseen by law firm Morrison & Lee LLP and to be used to help people defend fair use.[41]

The Kleins won the lawsuit, with U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruling that their commentary video constituted "fair use as a matter of law" and describing it as "quintessential comment and criticism".[42][43] The case is the first of its kind to receive a judgment; while not legally binding across the United States, it provided a significant and persuasive argument to be cited in future cases relating to fair use on YouTube.[44]

Triller Fight Club II LLC v. The H3 Podcast[edit]

In May 2021, Triller's event company filed an updated lawsuit to the US District Court for the Central District of California against the H3 Podcast and the Kleins, seeking $50 million in damages. The lawsuit alleges copyright infringement in the podcast episode titled Jake Paul Fight Was a Disaster, which aired five days after the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren fight and featured knockout footage along with Ethan's commentary on the event.[45]

Personal lives[edit]

Ethan, an American, and Hila, an Israeli, first met at the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem in Israel in 2007; Ethan was on his Birthright Israel trip, while Hila was serving in the Israel Defense Forces.[46] They married in 2012.[47] During the early years of their YouTube career, they lived together in Israel.[2] They have two sons, Theodore, who was born in June 2019, and Bruce, who was born in February 2022.[47][48][49]

In April 2020, the Kleins hosted a 100-day, $100,000 monetary giveaway, to help out during the pandemic.[50][51]

Nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Work Result Refs
2017 Streamy Awards Comedy h3h3Productions Nominated [52]
2018 Best Podcast H3 Podcast Nominated [53]
2019 Nominated [54]
2020 Nominated [55]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]