News & Opinion | August 7, 2020 2:30 pm

Influencers and YouTubers Aren’t Going to Stop Partying

For internet stars, working from home means throwing house parties

jake paul
YouTuber Jake Paul is one of many internet stars who has attracted criticism for partying amid the pandemic.
Eric Espada/Getty Images

Taylor Lorenz has spoken: the YouTubers, TikTokers and other influencers pandemic-partying in L.A. aren’t planning on stopping anytime soon.

The New York Times internet culture reporter talked to some of the many young stars who have found themselves in hot water in recent weeks for hosting, attending and/or sharing content from massive parties held with little to no regard for social distancing guidelines to ask them: Why?

The answer? It’s their job, apparently.

“Our jobs are to entertain people,” YouTuber Thomas Petrou told Lorenz. “We can’t put our entire lives on hold for a year and not make any money.”

Massive L.A. parties frequented by the young influencers of TikTok and YouTube have come under fire recently as California battles a summer spike in COVID-19 cases, with a particularly high infection rate in Los Angeles County. Last month, controversial YouTuber Jake Paul sparked criticism after hosting a massive party at his Calabasas mansion, with photos and footage of the event shared on social media showing countless maskless revelers drinking, dancing and swinging from heavy machinery.

The event prompted Calabasas Mayor Alicia Weintraub to declare a no-tolerance policy for large gatherings, but it would seem the influencer bacchanals haven’t slowed down. Evidence of similarly pandemic-negligent parties hosted and attended by influencers including Emma Chamberlain, James Charles, Bryce Hall, Josh Richards and Blake Gray, among others, continue to surface on social media regularly, despite ongoing criticism.

But according to the young stars, throwing house parties is simply their version of working from home.

Meanwhile, L.A. may be a high-profile hotspot for pandemic parties, but the TikTokers and YouTubers of the West Coast aren’t the only ones getting in trouble for ignoring social distancing guidelines in the name of a good time. Last month, the New York Times attributed a spike in COVID cases in affluent Greenwich, Connecticut to teen parties, and just last weekend, arrests were made after a New York City riverboat left Manhattan carrying more than 170 partiers.

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