Ethan Klein and Ben Shapiro drama explained as YouTube bans podcaster

Alexandra Ciufudean October 21, 2022
Ethan Klein and Ben Shapiro drama explained as YouTube bans podcaster


Podcaster Ethan Klein’s recent drama with Ben Shapiro resulted in the H3H3 host’s YouTube account being suspended after a string of off-color jokes about Shapiro fell flat.

The episode was published on YouTube and Apple Podcasts on October 18. The clips have now been deleted from YouTube.

The drama surrounding Klein and Shapiro, both of whom are Jewish, stems from a joke made by Klein, and escalated with YouTube’s decision to suspend him for a week.

What did Ethan Klein say about Ben Shapiro?

During an episode of the H3H3 podcast, Klein and producer Dan Swerdlove were discussing the recent Kanye West drama and the singer’s subsequent removal from social media.

Ye recently got locked out of Twitter and Instagram due to a series of antisemitic posts, including a tweet where he announced he would go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.” Shortly after the ban, the singer said he was considering buying right-wing social media platform, Parler.

During the podcast, Klein and Swerdlove speculated on whether West’s recent friendship with conservative provocateur Candace Owens might be influencing him. Owens is a frequent contributor to right-wing website The Daily Wire, led by Shapiro.

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Klein prefaced his take on Shapiro by saying he understood the joke he was about to make might receive some backlash.

“I was just going to say,” Klein launched into his joke, “if there was another holocaust… I was just going to say again if they start rounding up the Jews, I hope Ben gets gassed first or last.”

“I’m not doing anything, I’m getting gassed too, Dan,” Klein added after getting no reaction from his producer. “I am Jewish by the way, just for the record, 99.7 percent Ashkenazi Jew b*tch.”

Shapiro reacts to Klein’s joke

In response to Klein’s comment, Shapiro tweeted: “If there were another Holocaust, I would hope that Ethan and his family escaped. But maybe that’s just me.”

Klein appeared to double down, however, admitting that his was “in bad taste”, but was intended as no more than that.

This is not the first time Klein and Shapiro have sparred online. In May 2021, Klein shared a controversial take on the Israel-Palestine conflict, prompting Shapiro to dig up the tweet as ammunition in the current drama.

Apparently in response, Klein tweeted a photo of himself wearing a strange haircut. The caption read: “Ben Shapiro, intellectual titan, arguing with this guy btw.”

Ben Shapiro drama gets Klein banned from YouTube

After taking down the H3H3 podcast clips featuring Klein’s jab at Shapiro, YouTube banned the creator from the platform for a week.

Klein took to Twitter to apologize to fans for missing “a week of the show because of another stupid joke.”

“I’m very sorry to everyone who relies on the podcast to get them through the week. I’ll do better for you guys I promise,” Klein added, after briefly taking aim at Shapiro “& friends”.

However, Klein reassured fans, the crew would be taking advantage of this time to prep for their eagerly-awaited Halloween episode, featuring a haunted house special.

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Alexandra Ciufudean is the Head of Entertainment at The Focus where she manages a growing team of outstanding writers. On a day-to-day basis, she hunts for the latest in online trends and keeps her finger on the pulse of US culture, politics, and celebs. Alexandra helped launch The Focus in 2020 and developed the site into an expert online news source. A language nerd through and through, she boasts 5 years of experience as an editor, writer, and content specialist across web, video, and social platforms, and a master's degree in Comparative Literature.