It’s hard to believe but it’s been 10 years since Chris Crocker first uploaded that iconic “Leave Britney Alone!” video to YouTube, catapulting him to Internet superstardom.
Yesterday marked the video’s 10 year anniversary. To celebrate, Crocker uploaded the video to his Instagram page along with a message.
“10 years ago on this day, I defended my favorite pop star against the media,” Crocker writes. “I was mocked for my femininity. I was called every gay slur in the book. Talk show hosts questioned if I was a man or woman, after playing the clip.”
Crocker says he knew there was “no way people would take me serious” so he created a cartoon persona, but that was never who he truly was on the inside.
“The truth is and always was about standing up for someone and not standing idly by when you see someone being hurt by others,” he writes.
Looking back, Crocker wonders: If he had released the video just a few years later, after people had become more accepting on LGBTQ people and personalities, would the response have been the same?
“Even if I got a public beating for standing up for what’s right,” he writes, “I’m happy I did.”
And, for the record, he still loves Britney Spears… even if the feeling isn’t mutual.
Watch the video and read the full statement below…
10 years ago on this day, I defended my favorite pop star against the media. While I'm known to do comedy: This was the one video that I was serious in. That year, my mom was battling addiction & became homeless after serving for our country in Iraq. The struggles in my home life and family life made me defensive over any woman going through a hard time. The internet and YouTube was a very different, less LGBT friendly place at the time. Nothing I said in the video was listened to. I was mocked for my femininity. I was called every gay slur in the book. Talk show hosts questioned if I was a man or woman, after playing the clip. I knew there was no way people would take me serious. So I decided that I would play up to the joke everyone thought I was. Realizing that telling them about what had actually triggered my emotional reaction (What my mom was battling) wouldn't be of interest to anyone. So I gave them a cartoon of what they assumed I was, in my public appearances afterward. But the truth is and always was about standing up for someone and not standing idly by when you see someone being hurt by others. In the 10 years since this video- A lot of LGBT Youtubers are celebrated for who they are. I often wonder if I had started videos later, if I would've been treated differently. But what I will say is this: Even if I got a public beating for standing up for what's right: Im happy I did. And I'll always love @britneyspears ??