Chris Crocker Reflects On His Infamous “Leave Britney Alone” Video

10 years ago Chris Crocker’s plea was the video heard around the world.

What I've learned since making The Leave Britney Alone video.

A post shared by Chris Crocker (@itschriscrocker) on

In 2007 Chris Crocker became one of the internet’s first viral stars, and one of its earliest victims. His heartfelt plea for people to “leave Britney alone,” with mascara streaks running down his face, is a trademark in popular culture and of YouTube’s younger years.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ten years later, Chris Crocker took to social media to share some advice and some backstory behind the video that went viral before the age of memes. On his Instagram, Crocker advises young people on the internet to be careful what they post online and to not worry about what others think. “Let the haters kick fuckin’ rocks, man,” he says.

He also posted a clip of the infamous video with a long message describing some of the backlash he faced online as a young gay man. “The internet and YouTube was a very different, less LGBT friendly place at the time,” Crocker writes. “Nothing I said in the video was listened to. I was mocked for my femininity. I was called every gay slur in the book.”

Since the video, Crocker has made a life as an internet celebrity, cut off all his hair, modeled for American Apparel, was the subject of the documentary “Me At The Zoo,” did some porn, and released music. He still frequently shares video updates of his life online. The 29-year-old has come a long way from the struggles he faced at 19, when he says his mother battled homelessness and addiction, and the ridicule of the internet.

Crocker ends his note on Instagram by saying that he doesn’t regret posting the video. “Even if I got a public beating for standing up for what's right: I’m happy I did,” he writes. And, of course, he writes that he’ll always love Britney.

10 years ago on this day, I defended my favorite pop star against the media. While I'm known to do comedy: This was the one video that I was serious in. That year, my mom was battling addiction & 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. The internet and YouTube was a very different, less LGBT friendly place at the time. Nothing I said in the video was listened to. 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. Realizing that telling them about what had actually triggered my emotional reaction (What my mom was battling) wouldn't be of interest to anyone. So I gave them a cartoon of what they assumed I was, in my public appearances afterward. But the truth is and always was about standing up for someone and not standing idly by when you see someone being hurt by others. In the 10 years since this video- A lot of LGBT Youtubers are celebrated for who they are. I often wonder if I had started videos later, if I would've been treated differently. But what I will say is this: Even if I got a public beating for standing up for what's right: Im happy I did. And I'll always love @britneyspears ❤️

A post shared by Chris Crocker (@itschriscrocker) on

September 11, 2017
Chris Crocker Reflects On His Infamous “Leave Britney Alone” Video