h3h3Productions

Ethan Edward Klein (born June 24, 1985)[1] and Hila Klein (née Hakmon; born December 12, 1987) are an American-Israeli husband and wife duo best known for their YouTube channel h3h3Productions. The majority of content on their main channel comprises reaction videos and sketch comedy in which they satirize internet culture, and the pair also run a separate podcast channel.

h3h3Productions
H3h3Productions logo.jpg
h3h3Productions logo
Born
NationalityAmerican-Israeli
ChildrenTheodore Klein
YouTube information
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Channels
Years active2011–present
Genre
Subscribers12.44 million (combined)
Total views2.67 billion (combined)
Associated acts
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg100,000 subscribers 2015
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg1,000,000 subscribers 2016
Updated August 8, 2020

Personal lifeEdit

 
Ethan Klein visiting Stockholm in 2017

Ethan Edward Klein was born on June 25, 1985 in Ventura, California, to an Ashkenazi Jewish family. His parents are Gary and Donna Klein, and he attended Buena High School.[2] 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.[3] His paternal grandfather was Leonard Katzman, the showrunner of the soap opera Dallas.[4]

Hila Klein (née Hakmon; Hebrew: הילה חכמון‎) was born on December 12, 1987 in Holon, Israel to a Sephardic Jewish family.[5] Hila served as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces for two years due to Israeli conscription laws. During her military service, she met Ethan Klein in 2007 while he was visiting the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem at the time on his Birthright Israel trip.[6] She then attended the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel, but did not complete her studies.[7] Hila became a naturalized U.S. citizen in September 2019.[8]

After several years together, the couple married on October 12, 2012. During the early years of the channel, the couple lived together in Israel, in the Florentin neighborhood of Tel Aviv.[9] In April 2015, the Kleins moved to the United States,[10] first living in Los Angeles[11] then moving to New York City in September 2015[12] and later back to Los Angeles in August 2016.[13] Even though they celebrate Jewish holidays, both of them identify as agnostic atheists.[14] The couple own two Yorkshire terriers named Shredder and Alfredo.[15][16][17] The couple have a son named Theodore Yochanan Klein, named after Hila's father, Yochanan.[18][19][20]

YouTubeEdit

The Kleins registered the h3h3Productions YouTube channel on April 29, 2011.[21] 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 television series Mystery Science Theater 3000.[9]

The channel has gained a reputation for critiquing internet trends and a range of online personalities,[22] as well as several YouTube policies.[23][24][25] On July 15, 2016, after winning a Hot 97 contest, Ethan met DJ Khaled and showed him a series of comedy videos.[26] The pair have responded to several online controversies, many of which concern badly received prank videos posted to the site.[23] The Kleins leased 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.[27]

The H3 Podcast channel was registered by the Kleins on April 8, 2017,[28] on which they upload recordings of their weekly podcast.[29]

Fair use lawsuitEdit

In April 2016, Matt Hosseinzadeh, an Iranian-American YouTuber who goes by "MattHossZone" and "Bold Guy", filed a civil action against the Kleins for copyright infringement.[30] h3h3Productions made a reaction video to Hosseinzadeh's video "Bold Guy vs. Parkour Girl". 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."[31][32][33]

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.[34] The fundraiser raised almost $170,000, receiving large donations from notable individuals including 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.[35] On June 27, 2016, Lee announced on Twitter that he had filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.[36]

Court filings from November 2016 state that Ethan and Hila Klein had new attorneys and were no longer represented by Morrison & Lee LLP.[37] Later claims by both Ethan and Hila that the switch was due to among other reasons, "things not working out". They also discussed that the alleged fees charged by the new firm were US$54,146.57 for one month of work. There is currently no evidence that Morrison & Lee LLP had ever controlled the funds raised by H3h3Productions, and Morrison & Lee LLP has not confirmed the allegation.[38] On March 17, 2017, the trial set for April 17, 2017 was adjourned in anticipation of ruling on summary judgment motions.[39]

On August 23, 2017, Ethan tweeted that they won the lawsuit.[40] In her decision in favor of Ethan and Hila, U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled that the Kleins' commentary video constituted "fair use as a matter of law", describing it as "quintessential comment and criticism."[41][42] The case is the first of its kind to receive a judgment, and while not binding across the United States, provides a significant and persuasive argument to be cited in future cases relating to fair use on YouTube.[43]

Allegations against The Wall Street JournalEdit

H3h3Productions, alongside several other channels, supported YouTube personality PewDiePie amid a 2017 controversy over Nazi jokes in one of his videos from January.[44] 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 they were taken out of context.[45] When YouTube subsequently released tools to allow advertisers to avoid offensive videos, Ethan Klein claimed that the tools were overly broad and negatively affected unrelated content, including his own channel.[46]

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 racist content. 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. Upon seeing that the video was not contributing to the uploader's income, Klein alleged that Nicas had used an altered screenshot and asserted this in a video. Hours later, he was informed that the video was indeed monetized, but through a copyright claim rather than an explicit choice of the user. Klein withdrew his accusation in response and The Wall Street Journal released a statement that it stood by the authenticity of the screenshots.[47]

Other workEdit

From September 5 to 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.[48]

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.[49]

In 2017, Hila Klein founded her own clothing company named Teddy Fresh.[29]

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.[50]

In May 2020, Ethan was dropped as a sponsor for Old Spice because of resurfaced footage of Ethan saying derogatory slurs in a 2017 interview.[51]

Political viewsEdit

In August 2019, Ethan came out in support of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, whose platform revolves around the impact of technological development and automation on job displacement.[52] Following Andrew Yang's dropout from the 2020 Democratic race, Ethan proceeded to endorse presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.[53]

Ethan and Hila Klein have expressed fairly neutral views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hila, who served in the Israeli Defense Force, stated that "the problem is the extremes on both sides.” Ethan has stated concerns about antisemitism in the Middle East, stating "they've always hated the Jews". He also expressed his sympathy for the state of Palestinians in Gaza. They have both said they want peace in the region.[54]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 14, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "YouTuber Star From Ventura Fighting Copyright Infringement Lawsuit". KEYT-TV. Archived from the original on June 4, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  3. ^ Brooks, May (July 23, 2017). "Ethan Klein – his family, career and his lovely but shy wife! Know about this internet entertainer's life here!". Puzzups. Archived from the original on April 16, 2018. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
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  5. ^ h3h3Productions (January 16, 2017). "Hila's Dad Approves". YouTube. Archived from the original on January 24, 2017. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  6. ^ h3h3Productions (May 17, 2017). "How We Met At The Holocaust Museum". YouTube. Archived from the original on October 9, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  7. ^ "Graduates of the multidisciplinary art department 2014". Cargo Collective. Archived from the original on August 8, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  8. ^ HilaKleinH3 (September 24, 2019). "I'm a citizen now!! 🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🗽🗽🗽🗽🗽🗽🗽🗽🗽". Twitter. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
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  15. ^ h3h3Productions (December 3, 2017). "Look how tiny he is oh Lord". Twitter. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  16. ^ h3h3Productions. "This is how shredder sleeps every night. This is everything I care about in one photo, my life & heart. The simple essence of what makes…". Instagram. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  17. ^ Klein, Ethan (September 9, 2019). "The little white boy is our new doggie, Alfredo. He is a rescue (I know, Im a saint) He is such a good boy, so sweet and loving and him and Shredder have already become best friends. The big white one is my parents dog, he's sweet but kind of a ding dong. Welcome little Alfredopic.twitter.com/474KWu956X".
  18. ^ Ethan and Hila (January 30, 2019). "Baby Gender Reveal!!". YouTube. Archived from the original on January 30, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  19. ^ Klein, Ethan (June 7, 2019). "The Birth Of Our Son Theodore". H3 Podcast (Podcast). #120. YouTube. Event occurs at 2:04. Retrieved June 8, 2019. Theodore was born on the 4th at 9 PM ... 9:02PM.
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  30. ^ "hossdepo.pdf". Google Docs.
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  34. ^ "YouTube War: Philip DeFranco's GoFundMe Raises $60,000 As 'Bold Guy' Matt 'Hoss' Sues Ethan And Hila Of H3H3". The Inquisitr News. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
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  40. ^ @h3h3productions (August 23, 2017). "We won the lawsuit. Video coming soon. Huge victory for fair use on YouTube" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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  43. ^ Graves, Franklin (August 23, 2017). "YouTubes Ethan and Hila Klein Win Copyright Case, Court Says h3h3Productions' Use Of Video Is Fair Use". tubefilter.com. Tube Filter. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  44. ^ Markum, Jeff (February 16, 2017). "PewDiePie just responded to claims of anti-Semitism on YouTube and it's pretty intense". Thought Catalog. Archived from the original on May 16, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
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  47. ^ Simonson, Joe (April 3, 2017). "YouTube Powerhouse H3H3 Retracts Video Accusing Wall Street Journal of Falsifying Evidence". Heat St. Archived from the original on April 14, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
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  49. ^ "Payday 2 Makers Donate DLC Profits To Help Big YouTubers Fight Legal Battle". Kotaku. November 5, 2017. Archived from the original on November 27, 2017. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  50. ^ h3h3Productions (September 6, 2018), H3H3 BALL RIDER, archived from the original on September 17, 2018, retrieved September 16, 2018
  51. ^ Tenbarge, Kat (May 23, 2020). "YouTubers are reporting that Old Spice dropped its sponsorship of h3h3's Ethan Klein amid a brewing troll war with Keemstar". Business Insider. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  52. ^ h3h3Productions (August 11, 2019). "Confirmed". Twitter. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  53. ^ Klein, Ethan (February 11, 2020). "I am officially endorsing @BernieSanders for president with a $1,000 donation. Although take my endorsement with a grain of salt because my qualification is that I talk about poop on a podcast all day. That being said, I do support Bernie and wish him good luck.pic.twitter.com/2MLlFqQgOo". @h3h3productions. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  54. ^ "H3H3 Break Down The Isreal and Palestinian Situation ( H3 Podcast x TigerBelly )". YouTube. December 12, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2020.

External linksEdit