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h3h3Productions (often shortened to h3h3 or simply h3, due to their initials) is an Israeli-American comedy YouTube channel produced by husband and wife duo Ethan Klein (born June 25, 1985)[7] and Hila Klein, (née Hakmon; born December 12, 1987). The name H3H3 was initially supposed to be ‘HEHE’ due to the couple’s initials, but because the username was taken, this opted for H3H3. Their content mostly consists of reaction videos and sketch comedy in which they satirize internet culture.

h3h3Productions
H3h3Productions logo.jpg
Personal information
BornEthan Edward Klein
(1985-06-25) June 25, 1985 (age 34)
Ventura, California, U.S.
Hila Hakmon
(1987-12-12) December 12, 1987 (age 31)
Holon, Israel
NationalityAmerican, Israeli
EducationUniversity of California, Santa Cruz (Ethan)
Shenkar College of Engineering and Design (Hila)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Websiteh3h3productions.com
YouTube information
Channel
Years active2011–present
Genre
Subscribers6,567,375 subscribers
Total views1,342,351,809 views
Associated acts
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg100,000 subscribers 2015
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg1,000,000 subscribers 2016
Ethan and Hila
YouTube information
Channel
Years active2013–present
Genre
Subscribers2.1 million
Total views268 million
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg100,000 subscribers 2016[1]
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg1,000,000 subscribers 2016[2]
H3 Podcast
YouTube information
Channel
Years active2017–present
Genre
Subscribers2.2 million
Total views1,342,351,809 views
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg100,000 subscribers 2017[3]
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg1,000,000 subscribers 2017[4]
H3 Podcast Highlights
YouTube information
Channel
Years active2017–present
Genre
Subscribers1.2 million
Total views311 million
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg100,000 subscribers 2017[5]
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg1,000,000 subscribers 2018[6]
Updated May 25, 2019

In addition to their main channel, the Kleins also run a secondary vlog channel called "Ethan and Hila" and a third channel devoted to the H3 Podcast, which features Ethan and Hila interviewing celebrities and YouTubers, discussing recent events and sharing memes, with a focus on internet culture. Episodes of the podcast were originally streamed live on Twitch and later uploaded to YouTube in full, but newer episodes are live-streamed on the podcast's YouTube channel.[8] There is also the H3 Podcast Highlights YouTube channel which features short clips of the podcast.

Contents

Personal lifeEdit

 
Ethan Klein in Stockholm, Sweden in 2017

Ethan Edward Klein (born June 25, 1985) was born in Ventura, California, to an Ashkenazi Jewish family. His parents are Gary and Donna Klein, and he attended Buena High School.[9] 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.[10] His paternal grandfather was film and television producer Leonard Katzman.[11] He has a mild form of Tourette syndrome that causes his eyebrows to noticeably twitch, something he commonly addresses in his videos.[12]

Hila Klein (née Hakmon; Hebrew: הילה חכמון‎; born December 12, 1987) was born in Holon, Israel to a Sephardic Jewish family. Her father, Yochanan Hakmon, was of Libyan-Jewish descent, whereas her mother is of Turkish-Jewish descent.[13] 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.[14] She then attended the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel, but did not complete her studies.[15]

The h3h3Productions YouTube channel was created on April 29, 2011.[16] 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.[17] In April 2015, the Kleins moved to the United States.[18] They first lived in Los Angeles,[19] but moved to New York City in September 2015.[20] They moved back to Los Angeles in August 2016.[21] Even though they celebrate Jewish holidays, both of them identify as agnostic atheists.[22]

The couple own a Yorkshire terrier named Shredder,[23][24] who appears regularly in their videos. In October 2018, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child.[25] In January 2019, the couple announced that their first child is a boy and will be named Theodore Yochanan Klein, in dedication to Hila's father Yochanan who died in July 2018.[26] Theodore was born on June 4, 2019.[27][28] 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.[29]

YouTube careerEdit

The main form of content on the channel is the "h3h3 reaction video" series. 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.[17]

The channel has gained a reputation for criticizing certain Internet trends and personalities[30] as well as the policies of YouTube itself.[31][32][33] Often the pair will comment on or participate in online controversies, for instance with SoFloAntonio and prank videos.[31] Many of these controversies are related to outrage culture, which a playlist on the channel refers to as a "Cult of Outrage."[34]

On March 21, 2016, h3h3 uploaded "VAPE NATION",[35] a video poking fun at 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."[36] The video would receive over 25 million views by June 2019, and is the most viewed video on the channel.[35]

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".[37] 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.[38]

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.

H3 PodcastEdit

In 2016, Ethan and Hila launched the H3 Podcast. The first episode, in which they interview Justin Roiland, the co-creator of adult animated science fiction sitcom Rick and Morty, was released on December 20, 2016.[39] The episodes were originally streamed live on Twitch and later uploaded to YouTube in full, but newer episodes are live streamed on the podcast's YouTube channel. A separate YouTube channel was created for the podcasts after the first few episodes aired, hosting reuploads of the Twitch VODs of older episodes and live-streams of newer ones. In order to combat freebooting, the Kleins created another channel for episode 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[40][41]) feature only Ethan and Hila. Notable guests so far have included PewDiePie, Joji, Philip DeFranco, JonTron, Jordan Peterson, Justin Roiland, Captain Disillusion, Steve-O, Bob Saget, Ninja, Dr DisRespect, Chris D'Elia, Jake Paul, Bo Burnham, Post Malone, Bill Burr, Jack Black, Boogie2988, Tim Heidecker, MrBeast, Christina Pazsitzky, Tom Segura, Logic, and Andrew Yang.[42]

Other workEdit

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.[43]

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.[44]

In 2017 Hila founded Teddy Fresh which is her clothing company,[45] a clothing brand featuring brightly-colored color-blocked beanies, socks, sweatshirts and the iconic teddy bear logo.[46] They did a collaboration with brand Ripndip, which landed them in Zumiez stores.[47]

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.[48]

ControversiesEdit

Hosseinzadeh v. KleinEdit

In April 2016, Matt Hosseinzadeh (Persian: مت حسین زاده‎; born August 19, 1977), an Iranian-American YouTuber who goes by "MattHossZone" and "Bold Guy", filed a civil action against the Kleins for copyright infringement.[49] 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."[50][51][52]

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.[53] 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.[54] On June 27, 2016, Lee announced on Twitter that he had filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.[55]

Court filings from November 2016 state that Ethan and Hila Klein had new attorneys and were no longer represented by Morrison & Lee LLP.[56] 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.[57] On March 17, 2017, the trial set for April 17, 2017 was adjourned in anticipation of ruling on summary judgment motions.[58]

On August 23, 2017, Ethan tweeted that they won the lawsuit.[59] 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."[60][61]

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.[62] 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.[63] When YouTube subsequently released advertiser-friendly tools to help companies avoid offensive videos, Ethan Klein claimed that the tools were overly broad and negatively affected unrelated content, including his own channel.[64]

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.[65]

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External linksEdit