Controversial YouTuber makes new video over free hotel scandal
YouTubers haven't really had the best press over the past few weeks, have they? First, there was Logan Paul and his insensitive content on Japan and the so-called Suicide Forest, then Shane Dawson was accused of supporting paedophilia, and, most recently, a UK vlogger was publicly called out after she tried to score a freebie from a Dublin hotel.
Elle Darby, a 22-year-old fashion and beauty YouTuber, had offered to publicize the White Moose Cafe and Charleville Lodge Hotel in one of her videos in return for a free stay. In an unexpected turn of events, however, she ended up being the one who got a lot of media coverage - but for all the wrong reasons.
Paul Stenson - the owner of the establishment - originally called Darby out via Facebook, but his response didn't go viral until the vlogger herself mentioned it in her video. She claimed that she had been "exposed" by the contrary business owner, but he begged to differ.
Now, in a second video, Darby is offering her side of the story.
"The first thing I would like to discuss is the idea that I exposed myself," says Darby at the beginning of the video. She then goes on to explain that, in Stenson's original post, her name had not been blacked out - and she only found out that she had been publicly burned after complete strangers linked her to the Facebook rant.
Obviously, the controversy later snowballed when it was picked up by news sites; by which time Darby had already made a video on the matter.
Because the young vlogger than attained so much attention off of the back of the post, the White Moose Cafe then claimed that they had given her valuable exposure, and so she now owed them more than €5million ($6.2million). Obviously, this was a joke, but it was made in an effort to keep the feud going between them and Darby.
The YouTuber then made the case that, actually, she had not wanted any of this to happen, and was simply making an innocent request. The hotel, on the other hand, had turned the exchange into a marketing opportunity, and are now selling T-shirts which say "I got exposed by White Moose" with their brand name "blacked out" in the same way that Darby's was originally concealed in their call-out post.
Darby also addresses the notion that her anger over the situation was to do with her being refused the stay.
"Any business owner is more than entitled to refuse a business proposal," she said. "My issue was not that he had refused my stay, my issue was with how he reacted."
She then goes on to say how she has been sent death threats and cancer wishes because of her decision to address the White Moose's response as a form of bullying, and that her intentions when calling out the Facebook post were to highlight the problem with "exposing" people.
"I did feel extremely anxious for several days on end, I can't remember much about that day because my body just went into fight or flight mode, I had to prepare for what the next few days might be (like)," Darby said after the first video went viral.
"I did suffer from depression a few years ago, but I have never suffered from anxiety before. It was like I had just run a marathon and my heart wouldn't stop pumping.
"I think it is really awful that grown men and women are comfortable to write these things across social media."
Stenson, meanwhile, maintains that he did nothing wrong by posting the exchange between him and Darby.
"The girl in question was never identified in my original post, but she herself went on to create a video explaining how she was 'exposed' with 'malicious intent' for asking for a freebie," he claimed.
"This kind of victimisation is very prevalent in the blogging industry, and is in keeping with their general modus operandi of wanting everything for nothing.
"If any of you attempt to enter our premises from now on, you will be ejected."
It's easy to see both sides of the argument here, but - ultimately - Stenson could have properly blacked out Darby's name, and he had no reason to carry on the feud other than to increase his own publicity (which was ironically the thing which started the feud).
Many people were quick to judge on this story, and hopefully, Darby's video will help clear the air about what really happened.