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Who Are They?
Game Grumps are a very popular Let's Play channel on YouTube consisting of Arin Hanson (also known by his Newgrounds username Egoraptor) and Dan Avidan, also of the band Ninja Sex Party.
Originally, the Grumps were Arin and Jon Jafari. But in 2013, Jon left to pursue his own channel and work. A true explanation was never given, so rumors abound in the YouTube world, but I'll get to that in the Controversies section (; After Jon's departure Arin brought Dan on and the rest is history.
What is Game Grumps?
The main series is Dan and Arin playing whatever video games they want, occasionally bringing on guests. Steam Train WAS a spinoff series where Ross O'Donovan, ex-editor Barry Kramer, and sometimes Dan and/or Arin played Steam or non-console games, but Ross stopped making videos with the Grumps this past year, so it's essentially ended Steam Train. Recently, the Grumps have begun a live-action series called 10-Minute Power Hour where they do odd things like play vintage board games, make each other out of Play-Doh, or use children's makeup playsets.
The Grumps are not without their fair share of controversies, even sparking a subreddit where fans and ex-fans post about their frustrations with the Grumps and the series. Here's a rough rundown, in the best chronological order I can get!
The JonTron Controvery
First, the Jon controversy. Many often speculate as to why Jon left. There's the theory that Suzy, Arin's now-wife, was the cause of the rift between him and Jon. (Thanks to @PurinPrincess for that old comment on the post about just Suzy, haha.) One outlandish version of that theory I remember seeing was the allegation that Jon and Suzy got into an argument and he punched her, but that is almost DEFINITELY an insane rumor that hardly anyone takes seriously. Other people say that Jon just didn't like her. Another thing people often say (and I tried hard to find a link for someone specifically talking about this but I couldn't find anything quickly. When I do, I'll edit the link in) is that Jon started to feel bogged down by always having to film Grump episodes and never having the time to work on his own channel, which is probably the most likely scenario. The Grumps themselves addressed this question at a con recently, citing that Arin and Jon just grew apart creatively more or less. Dan adds in this panel that "recent events" have solidified the decision, which is almost surely in reference to Jon's controversy with racism.
Suzy the Scammer?
Next, the Suzy controversy. Just generally speaking, fans are kind of hard on Suzy. A lot of it is deserved, but a lot of it is pretty extra, which makes sense, a lot of times the internet is very unfair on women, especially in a male-dominated scenario like the Grumps channel. But one thing that was definitely deserved was the controversy with Suzy's Etsy shop. Here's a good link to a reddit post giving a rundown. Here's another link, and another. Basically, Suzy was caught buying wholesale goods/jewlery/accessories and selling them at a huge markup on Etsy, often times barely really changing anything when it came to the designs she purported to have worked so hard on. It's a shitty thing to do, but the worst part IMO is that Suzy went out of her way to tell everyone that she actually supported local shops, drove out to stores to buy real geodes for her jewelry, etc.
Channel Going Downhill
Finally, a quick explanation of some recent controversy. So, if you visited the link to r/rantgrumps, I'm sure you noticed plenty of people are not happy with the way the series has turned out. For starters, in the past, the Grumps edited out downtime -- areas where they had to play levels over and over to beat them, long cutscenes, time-wasting dialogue that doesn't advance plot, etc. Now they hardly edit anything at all. There are several episodes where they're struggling with a game and Dan suggests fast forwarding, and Arin always says "no no it's fine keep it in". The problem is, when they're in these situations, it's almost always Arin playing (more on that later) and when Arin gets frustrated he starts to act really ragey and yell a lot to be funny, and it's extremely repetitive for one thing and for another, it just prolongs the struggle because once he gets focused on trying to rage for lulz, he stops caring as much about how he does in the game.
Secondly, Arin plays the games about 98% of the time. The only games Dan really plays are ones that he remembers from his childhood. But even in that situation, it's not always the case. For example (and this is something that in particular really annoyed me), in an earlier episode, Dan talked about how much he loved playing Wave Race 64 when he was a kid, saying it was one of his favorite games. In a later episode the Grumps played it, and Arin said that he played off screen to unlock everything for them so Dan could play the game he loved so much, but Dan didn't want to play. And you could tell Arin was at least a little disappointed. It just struck me as uncharacteristically blasé of Dan to seemingly ignore his friend going out of his way to unlock everything for him.
Thirdly, Arin has begun a worrying path of playing games he doesn't enjoy, in some cases ones he flat out hates, and complaining the entire time. He doesn't have to play Majora's Mask if he hates it, and he says he does... yet play MM he did, and predictably, he said a lot of things that pissed off people who loved the game. (I don't think that part is such a big deal, but IMO if a Let's Player isn't having fun playing the game, the viewer is more than likely not having fun watching it. And it gives the feeling that they're phoning it in if they're not doing this to try to have fun.)
Here's a couple other (link 1) examples (link 2) of why people believe they've gotten lazy.
Continued Use of Racist Jokes
Finally, probably the worst of it all, is the fact that a lot of times the Grumps rely on racist humor. Personally, do I think they are racist? No, it's clear they are not. However, they do make a lot of racist jokes that people call them on, and they never learn or listen. Dan is nearly 40 himself, so I get that when he came of age humor was a lot more off color about racism, but that's not really an excuse IMO, especially when Dan wants to point fingers at JonTron for being racist. I'm not as hardcore as the strident Tumblr SJWs about humor stuff, but my rule of thumb is you should punch up, not down. If your joke is making fun of racism by making the racist person the butt of the joke, that's fair game. But what the Grumps usually do is just make some cheap lame joke that capitalizes on hella old stereotypes that everyone knows are racist by now and it's not even funny. The "dirty Armenian" example in this link is, in my opinion, an example of the "punching up" type of joke, because in the context they used it, they were making a joke about how Big the Cat from Sonic is a huge simpleton and it would be really ridiculous if he were racist against Armenians. But the majority of their other examples are pretty bad, honestly.
So, I think I've written a novel, lol. Hopefully I did everything right! What do you guys think? I'm a fan still and I have been since Jon was on (I do not like Jon anymore), but I have to admit, I've been noticing more and more things about them lately that really bother me, which is what made me wanna make this post.