The guy from the ‘Leave Britney Alone’ video made a new video 10 years later
Can you believe it's been 10 years since the Leave Britney Alone video came out? Me neither.
The video, in which 19-year-old Chris Crocker posted a hysterically emotional plea for people to leave pop star Britney Spears alone, went viral. Back in 2007, this meant four million views in two days. Quite a feat for a time when the first ever iPhone had barely been out two months, and no-one really had internet on their phones anyway.
10 years later, Crocker has spoken about the video. Although it was a highly shared video, Crocker says he felt "mocked" and endured a "public beating" for the video. Crocker posted a video to reflect on what has happened since releasing Leave Britney Alone.
He explains how he learnt never to let the things people say online get to him. Crocker was ridiculed for his sexuality, the eyeliner, his theatrically eccentric monologue, and his devotion to a pop star. But he now reveals how he intended to make a sort of "joke" out of himself in order to get people to listen to him.
But what he wanted to share was no joke at all.
In a lengthy caption of an Instagram post about the video, Crocker explains "This was the one video that I was serious in" and "Nothing I said in the video was listened to".
It's sure to make anyone feel a little remorseful for having sniggered at his video in the past. Crocker explains how the internet and YouTube was much different and much less LGBT tolerant 10 years ago.
"I was mocked for my femininity. I was called every gay slur in the book. Talk show hosts questioned if I was a man or woman, after playing the clip. I knew there was no way people would take me serious. So I decided that I would play up to the joke everyone thought I was."
He goes on to say that the video was as much about standing up for his favourite pop star as it was about dealing with his own personal issues.
"That year, my mom was battling addiction and became homeless after serving for our country in Iraq. The struggles in my home life and family life made me defensive over any woman going through a hard time," he said on Instagram.
Spears was going through a custody battle, divorce and drug addition, and it was all very publicly reported on at the time. Watching the original video again gives you a whole new appreciation for Crocker and his really very heart-wrenching video.
Since then, Crocker says he's more cautious about what he posts online, and he doesn't let what people say about him define him. In the video, the now 29-year-old appears confident and chipper, sporting a shorter, groomed and natural brown hair style than his 2007 video.
While he says that he's still never met Britney, Crocker has been spending the past 10 years blogging, vlogging, working as a public speaker, a singer-songwriter and has even appeared in an adult film. Plus he's got a Wikipedia page and a page on knowyourmeme.com.
He's a bag of tricks.