By JESSICA MAGDALENA
YouTuber ImJayStation has been accused of exploiting celebrity deaths by claiming he is talking to their spirits in his videos.
Critics have accused Jason Ethier, known as ImJayStation on YouTube, of exploiting the recent death of rapper Mac Miller in one of his videos.
Mr Ethier connects an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) to a bluetooth speaker and claims the sounds made by the machine are the words of Mac Miller’s ghost.
Mr Ethier told his two million subscribers the “ghost of Mac Miller” said his pop-star ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande was the cause of his overdose.
The video is captioned with Mr Ethier’s interpretations of the noises, including phrases such as “You’re dead” and “I’m stressed”.
Social media users have started a petition for Mr Ethier’s channel to be banned from YouTube because of its insensitive nature.
Mr Ethier said his videos were “all done for entertainment purposes only”.
Kyle Ritter, a fan of Mac Miller, said the videos represented an “all-time low for the YouTube community”.
“We should be mourning Mac and keeping his legacy alive, not exploiting it for some entertainment piece,” he said.
Fans of Mr Ethier have spoken out against critics and said the videos were well-intentioned.
Miles, the owner of ImJayStation fanpage @jaystation.fp, said he believed the content of Mr Either’s videos was real.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I personally believe that Ethier’s spirit box videos are real.”
Melbourne University senior lecturer in marketing ethics Dr Michal Carrington said modern celebrity culture was “heavily linked to the consumer market”.
“With the rise of social media, users will constantly feel attached to the lives of celebrities, that even exploiting their death can be justified in the name of pleasing the entertainment market,” Dr Carrington said.
In past “spirit box” videos, Mr Ethier said he contacted other deceased celebrities such as XXXTentacion and Lil Peep.
Both videos received similar criticism online.
Prominent YouTuber Adam22 criticised Mr Either’s “spirit box” videos in his own YouTube video.
He said Mr Either’s actions were “unthinkable” and “a ploy to gain more views and money through someone’s death”.
Mojo approached Mr Ethier for comment but he did not respond in time for publication.