The late Kevin Samuels, a polarizing YouTuber who considered himself an image consultant and relationship guru, rose to fame since joining the platform in 2015 and gained 1.4 million subscribers and over 1.2 million Instagram followers. Samuels’ fans consumed the videos he produced disparaging Black women, often maligning their looks and weight, according to NBC News.
Samuels, who died at age 53, had many of his fans laud him for his toxic and misogynistic perspective on women; he even came under fire last month for labeling unmarried women over the age of 35 as “leftovers.”
Some of his most popular videos included Women Should Let Men Use Them, How Much Does Your Submission Cost, Modern Women Are Average at Best, and Women Love When Men Cheat, Complex reports.
So it is no surprise why controversy still surrounds his cameo in the FX series Atlanta. Samuels appears in the episode titled Rich Wigga, Poor Wigga which opens with a 2021 Travis Scott track “Escape Plan,” where viewers are introduced to the episode’s main character named Aaron.
Aaron, played by actor Tyriq Withers, is a biracial student at Stonewall Jackson High School who is preparing to leave the comfort of high school and enter college life.
In walks Samuels as a guest speaker at the school, Robert “Shea” Lee, who the school administration describes to the students as a “businessman/philanthropist/philosopher/Christian.”
Samuels’ character announces in his speech that he will donate $1 million to the school and pay the tuition of every senior, as long as they are Black. Aaron, though biracial, finds himself in a quagmire because he identifies as white and takes great lengths to distance himself from the Black culture. Yet, he would greatly benefit from Lee’s financial assistance for his college education.
The episode was directed and penned by series creator Donald Glover who also included other contentious figures in previous Atlanta anthology episodes like Chet Hanks, who the Black community has accused of appropriation of Caribbean culture. Also, Liam Neeson once publicized his desire to kill a Black man after learning of the rape of a close friend, according to BBC.
Glover is highly regarded as an innovator for the creation of Atlanta, which many critics hail as “arguably the most exciting television of the current era,” according to Complex.
To catch up on episode view here.