This post contains mentions of assault and may be triggering for some readers.
YouTuber Jason Ethier clearly doesn’t mind a bit of controversy. But a stunt he pulled earlier this year, where he faked his girlfriend’s death to boost subscriber numbers, crossed a line. Six months later, Ethier and his now ex-girlfriend are still feuding.
The Canadian YouTuber, better known as ImJayStation, initially became popular for his "24 hour challenge" videos, where he would sneak into stadiums, malls and other closed premises and try to stay the night. Those videos got him arrested on trespassing charges in 2016.
Ethier’s next gimmick was to attempt to contact dead celebrities using ouija boards and spirit boxes. Fans of the rappers XXXTentacion and Mac Miller, who both died in 2018, were furious with what they saw as Ethier trying to profit from the men’s deaths. In the case of Miller, Ethier "asked" him about ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande, and claimed that every "like" on the video represented a prayer for the rapper. There were way more dislikes than likes, as well as people saying they wanted to punch him.
Side Note: A thank you to masks. Post continues below.
In January this year, Ethier posted a video where he was acting distraught, and dabbing with a tissue in the general direction of his eyes. He told his five million subscribers that his girlfriend Alexia Marano had been killed by a drunk driver.
"She’s gone too soon," he said.
Ethier then went into detail about the channel that he and Marano had created together: Dream Team.
"Her dream was just to get a million subscribers," he insisted.
He said he and Marano’s parents had agreed that he should post the videos that Marano had already made.
Ethier then shot more videos about Marano’s supposed death. In one, he visited her "memorial". In another he announced, "We’re doing the ouija board challenge on my dead girlfriend," while a message on the screen read "1 like = 1 prayer for Alexia" in a font that looked like dripping blood.
Not everyone fell for it. Another YouTuber, SomeOrdinaryGamers, rang the Toronto police to ask if anyone called Alexia Marano had "suffered any form of death". He was told there was no record of that happening.