YouTuber Andy Signore invited fans to join him in staging a protest outside Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s home as part of a YouTube stunt.
The Honest Trailers creator used his Popcorned Palace royal YouTube channel to suggest he will conduct a “Worldwide Privacy Tour” to Montecito. The account is monetized by YouTube, has 41,000 subscribers and charges members $5.99 per month to join, with options to pay up to $49.99 per month as an “investor.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were recently satirized by South Park, which depicted a “Prince and Princess of Canada” who looked like the couple conducting a worldwide tour protesting for their privacy.
Signore suggested he would rent a tour bus to take himself and viewers to Harry and Meghan’s mansion in Montecito to stage a similar protest. Later, following a backlash, he wrote on Twitter that it was a joke and he did not actually intend to turn up at their house.
“What if we got a bus and we put together a worldwide privacy tour where we get to get the bus, a coach bus, and we take it up from L.A. all the way to Montecito and we’re gonna bring our ‘we want privacy signs’ and our megaphones and we will go outside of their home and demand privacy,” he said on YouTube.
“That is right and we may be able to invite some of you as well. We may be able to offer a few tickets to help us offset this bus tour.”
Newsweek reached out to YouTube and Signore via email for comment.
Christopher Bouzy of the data analysis company Bot Sentinel, which has investigated online negativity targeting Meghan, said the couple should take legal action against Signore.
“The recent escalation by this group of YouTubers to target Harry and Meghan offline, and go on a targeted harassment tour, is a matter of great concern and seriousness,” Bouzy told Newsweek. “This incident underscores the worrisome trend of bad actors weaponizing YouTube to target individuals and the disturbing reality that YouTube is turning a blind eye to targeted harassment.
“In light of these circumstances, I sincerely hope that Harry and Meghan explore every legal avenue to safeguard their wellbeing, such as seeking a restraining order, given the escalating nature of this harassment and its potential risks to their family’s safety,” he said.
Signore runs the YouTube channel Popcorned Planet, which has 716,000 subscribers and created a second, Popcorned Palace, specifically for content about the royal family.
He told viewers during a live stream on his royal channel that fellow YouTuber “Stef the Alter Nerd” was already planning to go to San Francisco in the fall and would be near Montecito, where Meghan and Harry live. Stef describes herself on Twitter as “vice president of content & executive producer at Popcorned Planet.”
And he invited viewers to pay money towards making the stunt a reality, though he did also ask his fans not to “be a crazy person.”
“Your donations today will go towards the research of us potentially putting this plan together,” he said. “Maybe we’ll even run into [Harry and Meghan].”
“We are not going to harass them,” he said. “We don’t want you to harass them. This is not an open arms to harass them. Don’t make it twisted. Don’t be a crazy person. Leave them alone. But we’re gonna try to have some fun and see where they’re from and make our own little, you know, it’s a kind of a protest.”
Signore’s video sparked a social media backlash which also saw some Meghan and Harry supporters post photographs of his children online and cite past allegations against him. His former company, Screen Junkies, fired him in 2017 on grounds of sexual misconduct allegations which he denies, NBC News reported. In response, Signore told NBC last year that it was “sensationalizing a private relationship between consenting adults.”
Responding to the Harry and Meghan backlash, he wrote: “You all are PSYCHOS. As I said in the joke roast that got clipped out of Context – DO NOT HARASS ANYONE! Especially Meghan and Harry… I’m not showing up to their house you DUMMIES. But Anyone actually coming after my family or home better know I live in FL, I carry, and I will stand my ground.
“I will also call the police on anyone who enters my private community just as Meghan and Harry would and should, since NO ONE IS ACTUALLY HARASSING THEM IN THEIR HOME. Idiots.”
Signore told Newsweek: “As our full stream made very clear, we want no one to stalk or harass anyone.
“That part was conveniently clipped off when shared online. We never intended to stalk or harass them outside their house, and never plan to. We considered driving by for a photo-op, like the many Hollywood tour buses do.
“If pro-Meghan and Harry fans show up to take photos, would they be stalking? This is a non-story, and you should do more homework into the allegations of harassment, lies and abuse by your source Christopher Bouzy, as this false story falls right into his playbook.”
Jack Royston is chief royal correspondent for Newsweek, based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jack_royston and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.
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