Chris Crocker (born December 7, 1987) is an American Internet celebrity, occasional blogger, and occasional recording artist. Crocker gained international fame in September 2007 from his viral video "Leave Britney Alone", in which he tearfully defends pop singer Britney Spears's comeback performance at the MTV Video Music Awards; his video had over four million views in two days. The video received international media attention, hundreds of parodies and criticism for Crocker.
He is a self-described "edutainer" who produces and acts in multiple transgressive videos. In almost all of Crocker's work he presents himself as an openly gay and effeminate Southern adolescent in a "small-minded town" in the Bible Belt where his sexual orientation and outspokenness are a "subtext... rarely addressed directly and never completely accepted." The Tennessee-based Crocker, a stage name, keeps his identity and exact location private because according to him, and as seen in the public comments to his work, there are safety concerns and death threats in response to his YouTube and MySpace video blogs and profile.] According to his MySpace profile, Crocker lives in Los Angeles as of January 2008. As of May 2010, Crocker has returned home to Tennessee and solely travels to Los Angeles for business ventures.
His work consists mainly of short-form self-directed monologues shot in his grandparents' home. As of May 2009[update], Crocker's videos have received a combined 49.5 million plays on MySpace, and his vlog channel on YouTube is the 18th most viewed of all time in all categories, with over 153 million views. Crocker's detractors and critics have accused him of narcissism, melodramatics, histrionics, and using Spears' personal shortcomings to bolster his own fame. Others have accused Crocker of acting in the "Leave Britney Alone" video, although he insisted it was genuine on a September 2007 appearance on Maury Povich's Maury show.
Early Life Edit
Crocker was born in Eastern Tennessee to a teenage couple and was raised by his grandparents. Crocker said he "raised eyebrows" by bringing Barbie dolls to kindergarten for show and tell rather than the toys or action figures usually associated with boys. He lived in Eastern Tennessee and was homeschooled in response to constant "death threats, bullying and glares at his clothes and makeup". Specifically after allegedly being "harassed by a homophobic high school gym coach". At the age of 22, Crocker claims to not have obtained a driver's license. Crocker lived with his fundamentalist Pentecostal grandparents who continued raising him when his teenage parents were not able; while his grandfather reportedly knows little about his Internet fame, his grandmother has reluctantly appeared in some of his videos.