Trisha Paytas denied being antisemitic after calling Ethan Klein 'Jewy' while the podcast co-hosts discussed money

Trisha Paytas denied being antisemitic after calling Ethan Klein 'Jewy' while the podcast co-hosts discussed money
H3 Podcast / YouTube
  • Trisha Paytas and Ethan Klein, popular "Frenemies" podcast co-hosts, are feuding.
  • Paytas has released screenshots of texts where they called Klein "Jewy" during a financial dispute.
  • Paytas since apologized for the language and denied being antisemitic or anti-Jewish.

After a prolonged outburst on social media, YouTuber Trisha Paytas has apologized for using offensive language about Jewish people and denied being antisemitic.

The apology was prompted by Paytas releasing screenshots of their own text messages that show them using the word "Jewy" to describe their Jewish podcast co-host during a monetary negotiation.
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Paytas and "Frenemies" podcast co-host Ethan Klein have spent nine months becoming the internet's favorite podcasting duo, but the relationship between the YouTube stars is up in flames after a dispute during the most recent episode. The episode initially aired Monday for premium subscribers to the H3H3 YouTube channel before it became publicly available Tuesday.
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Overnight and all throughout Wednesday, Paytas, who identifies as non-binary and uses the pronouns "they" and "them," kept tweeting about their disagreements with Klein, which revolve around the question of who contributes more to "Frenemies": Klein's production crew - the team behind the H3H3 YouTube channel podcast run by Klein and his wife Hila Klein - or Paytas.

Read more: Trisha Paytas says they are quitting the 'Frenemies' podcast after ownership disputes

After announcing in a Tuesday YouTube video that they would quit "Frenemies" over the fight, Paytas went on to upload two more YouTube videos, titled "one more thing" and "im sorry," as well as post (and subsequently delete) dozens of tweets.
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Their latest tweets include comments like "Dude this s--- for real feels like a break up. It's so f---ing miserable," and "I'm literally not reading anything anywhere just venting."

After this article's publication, Paytas tweeted in response that "I've dated Jewish men my entire adult life and am currently converting. To not allow me to grow and learn when I've apologized time and time again is really not cool." "I'm so sorry for using that term," they added in a follow-up tweet.
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Paytas apologized after revealing they used the word 'Jewy'

Conflict over the division of "Frenemies" earnings led to Paytas and Ethan's disagreement on Tuesday's episode. But when announcing they would leave the podcast, Paytas said the dispute wasn't over how much money they made from the show, but rather that they were frustrated they weren't included in decisions like hiring crew members.

Paytas' since-deleted tweets included some screenshots purportedly showing text messages they exchanged with Ethan about compensation discussions.

Some of the texts were on Paytas' iMessage app, and those screenshots appeared to be from around September 2020, when the "Frenemies" podcast started. Other screenshots from Paytas' WhatsApp appeared to show a conversation they had with Ethan over the past 48 hours.
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Trisha Paytas denied being antisemitic after calling Ethan Klein 'Jewy' while the podcast co-hosts discussed money
Screenshots tweeted by Paytas that appeared to show texts they exchanged with Klein.Twitter/@trishapaytas

In the screenshots that appear to be from 2020 when the podcast began, texts purported to be from Klein asked whether Paytas would accept a "55/45" deal - presumably the split of "Frenemies" earnings between the two - adjusted for the H3H3 production crew's payment. Ethan then suggested a 60/40 split, but then said he was kidding.

"Sorry I know it's lame I was just thinking about it a little more," a text purportedly from Ethan read.

"Omg I was like so Jewy," Paytas replied, an apparent reference to the harmful stereotype that Jewish people are greedy. Ethan himself is Jewish.
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"One of the most prominent and persistent stereotypes about Jews is that they are greedy and avaricious, hoping to make themselves rich by any means," the American Defamation League says on its website.

Following backlash from Paytas' fans over the leaked texts, Paytas apologized for the comment.

"It was my sense of humor at the time. And it was a repeated joke I made at the time - it wasn't malicious but it's still gross. It was only this year on an episode did Ethan explain to me why it's offensive to stereotype jewish [sic] people as cheap. Like it never really registered."
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They also tweeted, "I have a lot of issues but I am not racist or anti - Semitic [sic]. As soon as he told me there was an issue with what I was saying I stopped."

Paytas has been accused of making anti-Jewish remarks before

Paytas has been criticized in the past for comments related to Jewish people. In November 2020, Paytas re-enacted a song from the musical "The Producers" on their TikTok. The song, "Springtime for Hitler," includes satirical lyrics praising the Nazi leader. In their TikTok rendition, Paytas also pantomimed the "Heil Hitler" gesture, which offended some Jewish viewers.
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In another fall 2020 episode of "Frenemies," Paytas claimed they had recently learned about the Holocaust for the first time following a viewing of the 1993 film "Schindler's List." When Ethan pushed back against Paytas' claim that they didn't know about the Holocaust previously, Paytas said that they knew about Hitler, but didn't understand the gravity of the death toll. 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

But in a resurfaced clip from a 2013 YouTube video called "My Thoughts on Hitler," Paytas said that they were very interested in German culture and history, particularly the World War II era.

"I'm not antisemitic in any, any way," Paytas said in the 2013 video. "I've had a lot of Jews inside of me, if you know what I'm saying [...] I love the Jews, I love them so much."
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The same year, Paytas tweeted, "how did Hitler not like the Jews??? they have big penises and make amazing soup."

Paytas has expressed an interest in Jewish culture and practices since they became engaged to Hila Klein's brother, Moses Hacmon, who is also Jewish, last year.

Prior to the "Heil Hitler" TikTok, in a September 2020 episode of "Frenemies," Ethan questioned Paytas' interest in Judaism and asked whether some of their TikToks about Judaism were offensive.
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"This is the one I had a problem with," Ethan said while watching a TikTok where Paytas said they were "rating my Jew lunch," referring to the Israeli food they were eating.

"Jew is a derogative, my 'Jew' lunch," Ethan said. "I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that you cannot say that, it's offensive."

Paytas said that their fiancé, Hacmon - Klein's brother-in-law - told them it was okay to say "my Jew lunch."
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"I'm promoting this culture," Paytas said, adding that they didn't think American Jews were "real Jews."

"A lot of people say 'thank you' for it," they said. "Yeah, but this is kind of cultural appropriation," Ethan replied. "This whole obsession and fetishization makes me a little uncomfortable."
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