You can now leave comments on the articles that matter to you. Find out more here

What happened to Tyler Oakley? Trisha Paytas calls OG YouTuber "irrelevant"

Bruno Cooke November 20, 2020
What happened to Tyler Oakley? Trisha Paytas calls OG YouTuber "irrelevant"

Tyler Oakley’s rise to YouTube prominence was rapid and monumental, and then he seemed to disappear from view. Now, he’s returned to the YouTube spotlight after a passing mention from Trisha Paytas – who called Tyler “irrelevant”. So, what happened to Tyler Oakley and his once hugely successful channel?

Tyler Oakley’s rise to fame

Matthew Tyler Oakley, better known as just Tyler Oakley, is an American YouTuber turned actor, author and LGBTQ activist. Specifically, much of his activism has focused on the issue of suicide among LGBT youths.

Oakley uploaded his first video, “Raindrops”, in YouTube’s early days – September 2007. He was 18 at the time. 

By the following February, he was an official YouTube partner, earning money from his videos.

As a result of his vlogs and LGBTQ advocacy, he soon started to associate with mainstream public figures such as celebrities and politicians.

Oakley meets Hillary Clinton and Ellen DeGeneres

Oakley’s most lavish mainstream collaborations involved Democrat politician Hillary Clinton and TV personality Ellen DeGeneres. 

Clinton appeared in one of Oakley’s vlogs during her presidential campaign – but fewer than a million people watched it. For a YouTuber with 7 million subscribers, this was unusual.

Then, Oakley made a high profile development deal with “daytime juggernaut” Ellen DeGeneres in 2016, “widely perceived as a gold standard in what social influencers and digital-native talent could achieve in Hollywood”, according to The Wrap. But the deal soon fizzled out.

So, what happened to Tyler Oakley?

Oakley’s attempts to integrate massive public figures Hillary Clinton and Ellen DeGeneres into his YouTube profile didn’t go well. YouTube commentator iNabber suggests that it is precisely these collaborations that marked the end of Oakley’s popularity.

“This is a common, recurring pattern on a lot of dead YouTube channels […] “These YouTubers start to interact with celebrities, and just in general famous people, and it really makes them leave the whole stratosphere of YouTube.”

In his video, iNabber suggests that’s what happened to Tyler Oakley’s channel.

What is Tyler doing now?

The veteran YouTuber has not gone away. Tyler is busying himself with new projects, such as, for example working out – a lot.

And he re-entered “The Amazing Race” with best friend Korey Kuhl in 2019, coming in second at the finish line. 

Since then, Oakley has launched a fitness series, TenEighty, exclusive to IGTV. As a result, many of his followers requested advice on workout routines, so he followed up the series with a slew of personal fitness videos.

LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment
Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or