Ethan Klein at a fan meetup in Stockholm, Sweden in 2017
Ethan Edward Klein|
June 24, 1985
Ventura, California, U.S.
December 12, 1987
University of California, Santa Cruz (Ethan)|
Shenkar College of Engineering and Design (Hila)
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Total views||1.09 billion|
|Subscriber and view counts updated as of July 10, 2018.|
h3h3Productions (often shortened to h3h3 or simply h3 ) is an Israeli-American comedy YouTube channel produced by husband and wife duo Ethan and Hila Klein. Their content mostly consists of reaction videos and sketch comedy in which they satirize internet culture. In addition to their main channel, they run a secondary vlog channel by the name of Ethan and Hila and a third channel called H3 Podcast. The H3 Podcast channel features live-streams that were originally live on their Twitch.tv channel. The podcast covers a variety of topics, some controversial. There is also H3 Podcast Highlights YouTube channel which features short clips of the podcast. The podcast primarily features Ethan and Hila interviewing celebrities and YouTubers. The podcast also has a "Top Of The Week" segment, where Ethan and Hila comment on current events involving the internet and the world.
Ethan Edward Klein (born June 24, 1985) was born in Ventura, California, U.S., to an Ashkenazi Jewish family. His parents are Gary and Donna Klein, and he attended Buena High School. Ethan studied English Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz from 2004 to 2009, and he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing. His paternal grandfather was film and television producer Leonard Katzman. He has a mild form of Tourette's Syndrome that causes his eyebrows to noticeably twitch, something he commonly addresses in his videos.
Hila Klein (née Hakmon; Hebrew: הילה חכמון; born December 12, 1987) was born in Holon, Israel to a Sephardic Jewish family. Her father is of Libyan-Jewish descent, whereas her mother is of Turkish-Jewish descent. Hila served as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces for two years. During her military service, she met Ethan Klein while he was visiting the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem at the time on his Birthright Israel trip. She then attended the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel, but hasn't completed it.
After several years together, the couple married in 2012. Their first reaction video was released in November 2013. Many of their early videos were projects for Hila during her time at college. At the time, the couple lived together in Israel, in the Florentin neighborhood of Tel Aviv. In April 2015, the Kleins moved to the United States. They first lived in Los Angeles, but moved to New York City in September 2015. They moved back to Los Angeles in August 2016. Even though they celebrate Jewish holidays, both of them identify as agnostic atheists.
The main form of content on the channel is the "h3h3 reaction video". More involved than traditional reaction videos, these consist 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 television series Mystery Science Theater 3000.
The channel has gained a reputation for criticizing certain Internet trends and personalities as well as the policies of YouTube itself. Often the pair will comment on or participate in online controversies, for instance with SoFloAntonio and prank videos. Many of these controversies are related to outrage culture, which a playlist on the channel refers to as a "Cult of Outrage."
On March 21, 2016, h3h3 uploaded "Vape Nation", a video making fun of vaping culture where Ethan buys an electronic cigarette and smokes it in public, at one point stopping in front of the WABC-TV Eyewitness News set. WABC anchor Bill Ritter tweeted about Ethan that day, saying "i got 'blessed' ? i got vaped? i'm not sure what i got. but i got something. got got? thanks, i guess." The video would receive almost 22 million views by May 2018, and is the most viewed video on the channel.
On July 15, by winning a Hot 97 contest, Ethan met DJ Khaled and showed him a series of videos, including "The DJ Khaled Documentary". Later, the channel released a short documentary on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gambling, which involves trading skins for real-world currency. The channel criticized several YouTubers for attempting to attract young viewers to their gambling websites.
The channel joined the Freedom! network after leaving Collective Digital Studio in August 2015, and since 2016 is a part of the Omnia Media network.
In 2016, Ethan and Hila launched the H3 Podcast. The first episode, in which Ethan and Hila interview Justin Roiland, was released on December 20, 2016. The episodes are usually streamed live and later uploaded to YouTube in full. A separate YouTube channel was created for the podcasts, and another for the highlights. Although most episodes feature a special guest, some episodes, called "Top of the Week" (originally "Top of the Month" before the podcast switched to a bi-weekly format) feature only Ethan and Hila. Notable guests so far have included Pewdiepie, Jordan Peterson, Bob Saget, Ninja, Chris D'Elia, Jake Paul, Bo Burnham, Post Malone, Bill Burr, and Tim Heidecker.
From September 5 to September 12, 2017 Ethan and Hila, along with Justin Roiland, Alex Hirsch, Dana Terrace, and YouTube prankster Joey Salads, raised over US $200,000 in donations to Direct Relief for relief efforts in Houston, Texas, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which caused massive damage to the city.
Ethan and Hila also appear in a character pack for Payday 2 titled "h3h3 Character Pack". Although originally appearing as an April Fools joke, the character pack was later confirmed for an actual release. The profits from the pack sales are donated directly to the Kleins, helping them with their legal fees.
In September 2018, h3h3Productions released a game on the App Store and Google Play called "H3H3: Ball Rider." The game was developed by Outerminds and features many references to some of their most well known videos.
Hosseinzadeh v. Klein
In April 2016, Matt Hosseinzadeh, a YouTuber who goes by "MattHossZone" and "Bold Guy", filed a civil action against the Kleins for copyright infringement. Hosseinzadeh claims that he initially contacted the Kleins "to politely ask them to remove my content from their video", but that they refused. Hosseinzadeh's lawyer, Tim Bukher, claims that the video used more than 70% of his work "while contributing nothing substantive to it."
After a video on this was released by h3h3Productions the following month, fellow YouTube personality Philip DeFranco started a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help raise money for their legal fees, citing the need to protect fair use on YouTube. The fundraiser raised almost $170,000, receiving large donations from notable individuals including the Fine Brothers, Markus "Notch" Persson, PewDiePie, Markiplier, Jacksepticeye, Justin Roiland, and Garry Newman.
On May 26, 2016, Ethan and Hila announced that the funds raised will go into an escrow account called the "Fair Use Protection Account" (FUPA), overseen by Morrison & Lee LLP to be used to help people defend fair use. On June 27, 2016, Lee announced on Twitter that he had filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
Court filings from November 2016 state that Ethan and Hila Klein had new attorneys and were no longer represented by Morrison & Lee LLP. Later confirmed by both Ethan and Hila, they stated that the switch was due to, among other reasons, "things not working out". They also discussed that the fees charged by the new firm were US$54,146.57 for one month of work. On March 17, 2017, the trial set for April 17, 2017 was adjourned in anticipation of ruling on summary judgment motions.
On August 23, 2017, Ethan tweeted that they won the lawsuit. In her decision in favor of Ethan and Hila, U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled that the Kleins' commentary videos constituted "fair use as a matter of law" and "quintessential comment and criticism."
Speaking out against The Wall Street Journal
H3h3Productions, alongside several other channels, supported YouTube personality PewDiePie amid a 2017 controversy over Nazi jokes in one of his videos from January. On February 14, The Wall Street Journal ran a story about PewDiePie's previous references to Adolf Hitler, which were accused of being taken out of context by PewDiePie and Ethan Klein among others. When YouTube subsequently released advertiser-friendly tools to help companies avoid offensive videos, Ethan Klein said that the tools were overly broad and negatively affected unrelated content, including his own channel.
One of the authors of the Wall Street Journal piece, Jack Nicas, wrote another article on March 24, claiming that YouTube did not do a good enough job of keeping major advertisements away from offensive content. Ethan Klein accused the report of being written selectively to maximize outrage. Specifically, the article showed a Coca-Cola ad playing on a video of the country song "Alabama Nigger" by American white supremacist Johnny Rebel.
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