March 13, 2018
By Marcus Lee
He rejoiced the death of Lee Kwan Yew, wants to legalise pedophilia and child porn, and has been thrown in Singapore jail on MULTIPLE occasions. That’s a tough life to lead (although he did bring it upon himself), and even more so because he’s only turning 20 this year. And no one can take credit for his notoriety other than the man himself: Amos Yee. After popping in and out of the current affairs zeitgeist since 2015, the controversialist has migrated to the United States (where he was sent to jail… again).
Few people agree with what Amos Yee stands for, but no one — and we mean it, NO ONE — can get by a headline of Amos Yee on the news and not feast their eyes on what this real life hot topic is up to. We were curious about how life is after suffering the wrath of the Singapore media and government, and so we reached out to him to find out if he has changed. You’ll want to read this:
When I moved to the US, I landed in Chicago, where I was arrested and freed. After that, the person who gave me a free place in Chicago was afraid that Child Protective Services or the police would raid the house because of my views supporting pedophilia. He told me to leave. Coincidentally during that time, I got a girlfriend who lived in Los Angeles, so that’s why I came here.
My ex-girlfriend was a fan who liked my videos and reached out to me through email. We became friends a month before me getting kicked out and us becoming closer clicked. After visiting her in Los Angeles for a week, she started school. So I booked a hostel while figuring out what to do next.
We asked for a photo of Yee’s ex-girlfriend, but our request was declined.
What attracted you to each other?
What draws me to her is her ability to speak up on topics, regardless of backlash and criticism. That’s what I’m known for, I pretty much got arrested five, six times? And I still maintain my opinions, unfazed by it. I think what drew her to me was my charisma, sense of humour, and skills in writing. She’s big on writing. If you watch my videos, the reason why they’re powerful is because they’re really tightly scripted and structured, so she probably admires my craft.
Did your public persona affect the relationship?
Our breakup had nothing to do with my public persona. She was totally fine with it, in fact she absolutely loved it.
What do you do for a living?
Artist. Of videos, right now. Many people don’t consider YouTube videos art, I consider it a very high form of art. I’m pretty much living my dream I had since I was 16 years old. I have creative freedom to do whatever I want, I have an audience. The only problem with having dreams at 16 is after you hit them, you have even more expectations.
You’ve changed your video style, from “vlogging” to compiling other YouTuber’s work. Why?
I think what I’m doing is absolutely fine. The reason I did that was because I got sick of writing in the style that I did and filming with my camera. I make it really clear: hate, I can handle, boredom, not so much. I’ve been doing it for the past three years, so now I’m just doing something different.
In terms of what the audience wants, I’ve really never done what the audience wants. I always challenge their preconceptions. If I was just thinking of how to maximise my popularity and growth, I’d just keep making content criticising the Singapore government, but I’m more interested in pushing other boundaries. That’s why I criticise religion, which made me lose a huge portion of my audience. That’s why I make videos supporting pedophilia.
On my Facebook, I’ve also made these little “mockeries” of Grace Foo’s pronunciation in the style of YouTube Poop. I got really obsessed with them recently, I’m watching them, studying them. I think I’d like to do them in the next few weeks.
Do you think the Singapore media paints you unfavourably?
Yes. They’re pushing the narrative that you’ll promote violence and riots [with free speech], with absolutely no evidence that increasing free speech does that. Their world view is absolutely horrible.
What do you think about the #MeToo movement?
It’s good. There’s a net benefit. There’re some who take it too far; they characterise actions that are not sexual abuse, like in the case of Aziz Ansari. But in terms of raising awareness of sexual abuse, there’s a net benefit so I support the movement. But I discourage the bad elements, like accusing people who haven’t sexually abused anyone.
Your thoughts on gun control — in Singapore and the US?
I’m left-wing, but this is where I differ from left wing views. I haven’t seen any evidence that guns increase crimes. Restricting guns restricts people’s freedoms. And in Singapore, it’s far worse. You give a death sentence to someone who carries a gun, that’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s awful. But I haven’t seen evidence that guns increase self-defence too. It’s just a matter of preference.
Singapore should legalise guns. Many Singaporeans argue that when you go to the States, you’ll get shot. The crime rate being higher in America than Singapore’s has absolutely nothing to do with guns. More gun violence doesn’t mean more crime. You can ban guns, but criminals will still use other things to kill people, like a knife.
Donald Trump vs PAP…?
Donald Trump’s awful. I’m left-wing, and his economic policies are absolutely awful. He’s anti-immigrant. I’m not just pro-immigrant, but pro-open borders. And many other issues. Hillary is less bad than Trump, I’d vote for Hillary.
Thankfully for the opposition in Singapore, they’re more left-leaning. Their policies make them competent in dealing with the PAP, but their marketing is horrible. That’s why they’re not winning elections.
I think PAP is less bad than Trump. Economic policies are more valuable than social ones. I think Trump’s a typical American, he’d be pro-free speech, he won’t have anti-free speech laws.
Have your political views changed?
For a brief period, I believed I was right-wing. I believed in anarchical capitalism, taxes were bad and capitalism was good. It was complete bullshit. And that’s because economics is hard to understand, so I was fooled into believing right-wing economic policies, which in fact has the complete opposite result. That lasted for three months.
The second phase was being a militant feminist, which lasted for a month. I thought that using the word “cunt” was bad, because, sexist. I thought cultural appropriation is bad, so you can’t wear Mexican headdresses for Halloween, which is completely retarded. I became an SJW [Social Justice Warrior], which the internet totally mocks.
Will you apply for US citizenship?
I’m pretty much nonchalant at the moment about that. The conditions I have now are fine. I’ll be a US resident, so I won’t be a Singapore citizen anymore. Right now, I’ll just do artistic projects I’m in the mood to do: YouTube Poop, movie reviews, politics; we’ll try to make views and make lots of influence, and money, and break boundaries. I’ve already made a generationally significant impact in Singapore with my political views.
What I want is for people to be more accepting of the type of person that I am. I’m continuing to create content, my means of communication with people, so people will go: hey, this type of person exists, you should be more accepting of them.
What is your demographic?
On YouTube, the viewers are 50% Singaporean, the rest from other countries. On Facebook, it’s about 80% Singaporeans. It’s gradually growing to have a western appeal. People said once I leave Singapore for America I’d be obsolete, like any other rebel there. It’s complete and utter garbage, [in obvious accent] I think I’m a genius both in Singapore and in America. Ninety-five percent of my viewers are probably against my views.
Amos Yee openly supports pedophilia
Are you still for child porn and pedophilia of all ages?
Is a newborn able to have sex if they “want to?”
Not penetrative, because you’ll probably hurt them. But sexual acts like making out, kissing, a newborn is fine.
How would the newborn be able to consent?
The same way they consent to eating and hugging. When you see a mom hugging a child, you don’t say she’s invading their privacy because they don’t have the mental faculties to consent to hugging. Only those standards are applied to sexual acts.
The NYLON team’s final thoughts after this interview:
Amos Yee is true to himself. He is still as controversial as ever, and perhaps, now even more so. There were aspects of this interview that we didn’t feel comfortable including — mainly about his stance on paedophilia — and nor are we comfortable even talking about it, so please don’t ask us to talk about it.
If, like us, you’re wondering how he survives financially, we did some Googling and discovered that he has: free housing (previously from an individual who took him in; however, his situation may have changed since), monthly donations from the public (yes, there are actually people who give him free money), and he sells personal-branded merchandise such as banana t-shirts and posters of himself.
More Info: www.nylon.com.sg