The controversy known as the HBomberguy vs James Somerton Plagiarism Scandal revolves around a video posted by YouTuber Hbomberguy in December 2023, titled “Plagiarism and You(Tube),” where he exposed fellow YouTuber James Somerton
Somerton, recognized for creating YouTube video essays on LGBTQ+ representation in popular media, was the primary focus of a nearly four-hour-long video. The content also criticized other YouTubers like Internet Historian and Illuminaughtii for allegedly repackaging others’ work without proper citations.
HBomberguy and James Somerton plagiarism controversy drama explained as video goes viral on Reddit and Twitter
— Kawaii~Khezu (@KawaiiKhezu) December 3, 2023
An excerpt from the new Hbomberguy guy video. Never knew I needed to hear hbomb call a someone a fuckable twink but here we are pic.twitter.com/h6fSxfLp4o
— harris☀️n, (@ZombHarris) December 3, 2023
This hbomberguy quote from his new video REALLY sums up how I feel about ai art, not gonna lie. pic.twitter.com/Elvl91yAP8
— I am undone without you 💍 (@blackdogteeth) December 3, 2023
Following the release of the video, Somerton deactivated his social media accounts and Patreon, but his YouTube channel remains active as of December 4th, 2023, with comments turned off.
Who is James Somerton?
James Somerton, a Canadian YouTuber, gained significant attention starting in 2018 with his video “Monsters in the Closet – A History of LGBT Representation in Horror Cinema (Video essay).”
The controversy erupted on December 2nd, 2023, when Hbomberguy’s video delved into plagiarism on the platform, using various YouTubers as case studies. Illuminaughti and Internet Historian were also criticized for their alleged lack of proper attribution in their content.
What’s in HBomberguy’s Video?
The major focus of Hbomberguy’s video was on James Somerton, accusing him of a history of misattributing or inadequately citing other queer theorists’ work as his own. Somerton’s alleged transgressions took up a substantial portion of the four-hour video.
On December 3rd, 2023, Somerton responded on his Patreon, initially dismissing Hbomberguy’s video as a rehash of disproven plagiarism allegations. This post was later deleted, replaced with an apology acknowledging a breach of trust with his audience and a promise to share more information soon.
The fallout from Hbomberguy’s video initially focused on Internet Historian’s plagiarism, with Reddit users in subreddits like /r/LGBT and /r/HBomberguy discussing Somerton’s alleged plagiarism, garnering significant attention.
Memes and posts surfaced, with users joking about the relief felt by other creators featured in Hbomberguy’s video, while some defended Internet Historian against the accusations. The online discourse continued to evolve with various reactions and discussions surrounding the scandal.