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At the end of March, I wrote a profile of Ur Mom’s House, a group of YouTubers living together in New York City, that began: “YouTuber Elliot Choy’s apartment is huge.” That is no longer true.
Choy moved out of the apartment after a feud among the content creator members. Three of the founding creators in Ur Mom’s House — Choy, Ashley Alexander, and Kelly Wakasa — have recorded a series of back-and-forth public statements after announcing that they had decided to split.
Known for their casual daily vlogs and prank challenges, Ur Mom’s House was one of the first content houses to plant their flag in Manhattan one year ago. Alexander, Choy, and Wakasa, along with fellow YouTuber Annemarie Allen, also known as Annemarie Chase, met via various influencer trips. Together, they made videos reminiscent of ensemble cast sitcoms, with loose premises and situational humor, for their collective audience of over 3 million subscribers.
Still, it was rocky. After its formation, Alexander and Wakasa quickly began teasing their romantic relationship, amassing millions of views by drawing out the development of their love story online. Allen left the house in May, citing a desire to “do her own thing.” Fans speculated the reasoning for her departure, scrutinizing her relationships with the other members. The public drama came to light on Oct. 2, when Choy, the one who had been previously cited in videos as pulling the house together, revealed that he was leaving.
“I’ve really started to resent some of my best friends,” he said. “Leaving the house kind of became my only option.”
On a granular level, the end of this creator house doesn’t necessarily surprise me. As soon as we published our profile, I received a text from Choy. He requested a phrasing change to that first sentence, “YouTuber Elliot Choy’s apartment is huge.” The group felt it was important they all shared the space of the first sentence, one name listed after another, he said. I declined — sources don’t get to decide the wording of a story.
Then he called me, again insisting I change it. When I declined, Choy and Alexander called my editor. Then, Alexander texted me. “I just wanted to touch base because we've been having some issues with the house always being reported as Elliot's or Kelly's and it really unfairly cuts me and Annemarie out of the loop,” she wrote. Finally, my editor allowed a very minor change to the first sentence: “YouTuber Elliot Choy lives in a gigantic apartment.” At the time, it just felt like the influencers’ attempt to maintain an airtight reputation, but in retrospect, perhaps it alluded to the fissures in their relationship already.
Yes, this particular collective struggled to find their bearings as a collective identity, and it was more difficult when a couple pairing shifted the dynamic right away. But on a greater level, content houses have been scrutinized for their gold rush-esque fragility that requires a bunch of people who got famous via the algorithm to mine for content together. We’ve watched content houses build up over and over before crashing spectacularly.
After Choy’s departure announcement, Wakasa responded with his own video. “His story sets up Ashley and I to be the problem,” Wakasa said. “It’s pretty laughable if you knew the truth.”
This was then followed up by a 40-minute video from Wakasa and Alexander detailing more of the drama. The two creators alleged that Choy “hated” Alexander and felt isolated as Wakasa and Alexander’s relationship took up more of their personal time. Wakasa said Choy wanted to cut Alexander out of their possible joint LLC, splitting equity in half instead of 33.3% each. Backlash volleyed between Wakasa and Alexander, then Choy.
Choy responded briefly on Sunday. “I never once suggested there should be anything other than a complete even split of equity at Ur Mom’s House,” he said. “This is the last video that I’m going to make on this subject.”
Meanwhile, fans have been writing paragraphs of analysis in the comments. “I hate picking sides but Elliot owes Ashley an apology,” one user wrote. “chill the hell out [Kelly] — you interpreted his video the way you did because of haters,” another said.
Ur Mom’s House is just the latest in a slew of instances where public figures had a very awkward fallout of their Big Claims Brand. Wife Guy who loves his wife and talks so much about loving his wife cheated on his wife. Cheery talk show host who dances and smiles and makes silly jokes is actually rude to waitstaff. Friends who are roommates and just hang out on camera as friends aren’t actually friends anymore.
Shit-talking your friends and miscommunication are unfortunate byproducts of monetizing your friendships. Content creators have the unfortunate role of it all happening publicly. Particularly for young creators, it can be difficult to find the line between your personal life and your brand. But it appears that won’t stop us from watching.