This week, Astron-6 finally unleashed their long-awaited Divorced Dad web series, only to have it promptly pulled by YouTube for supposedly violating its guidelines. Now the Canadian horror/comedy collective has shed further light on why the streaming behemoth effectively destroyed the launch of their latest project David and Goliath style.
Speaking to Exclaim!, Astron-6's Conor Sweeney says YouTube yanked their entire series just hours after its launch — and completely disabled the Divorced Dad YouTube page — over a joke used in the "My Sis" episode that involved terrorist organization ISIS.
"So YouTube entirely disabled our account and videos, because in the episode the running joke is that Divorced Dad is accidentally donating to ISIS all along," Sweeney explains. "We don't know what specifically they disagreed with, but the phone numbers we used for the donation jokes are dead phone numbers that used to belong to family landlines that no longer exist. "
Considering the types of explicit and extreme content you can regularly find all over YouTube, a satirical Canadian comedy show would seem like the least of its worries. However, that didn't stop YouTube from swiftly removing Divorced Dad from its service.
"This truly makes no sense to me, and we are such a bizarre target for YouTube to pick," Sweeney says. "I think YouTube is existing in an incredibly troublesome morality/creativity paradox. Logan Paul videotaped the corpse of a suicide victim for shock value and laughs. David Duke has his own YouTube page with tens of thousands of followers. Teenagers film themselves kicking the shit out of each other and bullying their peers. ISIS supporters upload songs and tributes to the organization. Serial killer worshippers post tributes, and on and on.
"More than anything, it's puzzling that they targeted a satirical comedy web-series that clearly is not towing the line for ISIS. It sets such a weird precedent that it makes their message beyond troubling."
At this point, Astron-6 is unsure when Divorced Dad will be back online. Unless YouTube fixes the situation and unblocks the account/videos, Sweeney says they will try to go to another service such as Vimeo.