YouTuber Daniel Keem, aka Keemstar, has announced his retirement after almost 14 years of talking about internet feuds on DramaAlert. This doesn’t mean the end for the long-running YouTube show, though.
Keemstar revealed his plan to retire via Twitter on Monday, a declaration many initially suspected was a troll. It wouldn’t be out of character considering he started on YouTube with clips of himself trolling in video games. However in a subsequent 12-minute video entitled “Retired,” Keemstar reiterated that he would indeed be stepping down from his role as DramaAlert’s host, explaining that the job had simply lost its appeal.
“I’m your host, Killer Keemstar, and I quit,” said Keemstar. “Quite frankly, I’m not having fun anymore.”
Keemstar primarily put his retirement down to “cancel culture.” DramaAlert has over 5.7 million subscribers and covers feuds, relationships, and drama concerning online personalities. According to Keemstar, the public’s willingness to contact YouTubers’ sponsors about their behaviour in droves has “caused everyone to stop speaking their minds” and thus cut down on the drama of the internet.
“In entertainment you need drama,” said Keemstar in his explanatory video. “You need conflict, right? That’s a core part of entertainment… And that just doesn’t happen anymore with the ‘cancel culture’ stuff.”
Keemstar himself has been called out multiple times over the course of his career for various issues, including his use of the N word, as well as stating that he “can’t wait to report [TotalBiscuit’s] death” while the game critic was battling terminal cancer. He later apologised for these incidents, but also tried to justify his use of the N word by explaining it was in response to being racially targeted as an Italian. He further noted that a DNA test found he was “9 percent African,” and stated he was “9 percent Black” when defending people who fly the Confederate flag.
The art of the YouTube apology video
While Keemstar’s gripes with “cancel culture” appear to be his primary reason for retiring, he also cited multiple other factors contributing to his decision, including past changes to how YouTube notifies subscribers of new videos and surfaces videos. He further lamented a perceived loss of community among YouTubers, noting that there are many more than there were before and that people are no longer all focused on the same topic at the same time.
“We used to have a commentary community where everybody was talking about the same thing,” said Keemstar. “And that commentary community has disappeared and they’re all making longform documentaries, because the longer videos [are] the more watchtime, the more they’ll get promoted in the algorithm, and blah blah blah blah blah blah.”
Incidentally, Keemstar stated that once he’s moved on from hosting DramaAlert he would like to make “documentary stuff.” He also expressed an interest in boxing, because the YouTuber to amateur boxer pipeline remains a real and baffling thing.
Though Keemstar will no longer be fronting DramaAlert himself, the show will go on. He has been actively looking for a replacement over the past two years, and hopes that announcing his retirement will help him find a new host before he leaves on Mar. 8 — his 40th birthday.