People with a glass house shouldn’t throw stones! Also, don’t get a glass house; people can see through your bulls**t.
The YouTube saturation is real as people are clamming to find new ways to stand out. More creators started implementing a specific template in their editing to denote their signature style.
But “inspiration” is a common word in creative space where people can admire someone’s creativity and ask to teach them their ways. This is the highest form of validation of one’s craft that inspires other creators.
On the other hand, the word “plagiarism” is often thrown loosely for even the slightest coincidence. Most creators accuse others of blatantly copying their style without giving them credit. The following case has nothing to do with either inspiration or plagiarism– it is purely masking delusion behind these two words.
Blair Zoń, who goes by the internet name iilluminaughtii, accused a fellow content creator LegalEagle, of plagiarizing her video edits. She pulled out receipts (email) that showed that LegalEagle’s editor asked for “tips” from her editor. But who would have thought one question from an innocent editor could open Pandora’s box for Blair? Accusations poured out against Blair for not only plagiarizing from other creators but also using fake accounts to run a smear campaign against her former project mates. Her ex-boyfriend also accused her of manipulating, using abusive language, and threatening him.
Let’s take a deep dive into the iilluminaughtii iceberg…
Who Is Iilluminaughtii?
Blair Zoń was born on January 23, 1993, and has been active on Youtube since the early stages of the platform. But she rose to prominence in 2013 due to her triangle-headed persona, iilluminaughtii, where she made commentary videos on several issues. But her channel was mainly dedicated to anti-MLM videos that exposed corporate malfeasance and other scams while educating people.
The 30-year-old was also recently a part of the commentary group “Leftist Mafia,” covering current events podcast with six co-hosts. But previously, she was part of another project, Sad Milk, which ended like the fate of milk kept past overtime. The creators’ group, including illuminaughtii, Oz Media, The Click, Wonderstruck Guy, Damien Lee, Salty, Flinders, and One Topic at a Time, would comment on various Reddit topics. After a good run, things began to go spoilt as members started leaving one by one without any explanation.
(Let’s get back to this case later).
Contrary to popular belief, Iilluminaughtii is not a single-entity YouTube channel; an entire team is employed for research, filming, writing, and editing, while Blair delivers the commentary.
Before all this, Blair had a rather bizarre YouTube history, posting “relatable” videos. But you won’t find any of those uploads now. However, she gained the nickname “Poop Knife Girl” as she uploaded a storytime video of picking her mammoth feces with bare hands.
Blair was in a relationship with Youtuber Azothan, and the breakup was pretty ugly. He has since declared his retirement from YouTube but did post a video four years ago recalling his relationship with Blair.
Who Is LegalEagle?
LegalEagle is a YouTube channel run by American lawyer Devin James Stone. He gives legal advice and detailed explanation on various case proceedings, educates people about various scams, and provides commentary on various legal-based shows and movies, judging their accuracy in the portrayal of a courtroom trial. He also gives his opinions on true crime trials.
But more significantly, his firm, Legal Eagel Inc, also conducts courses for law students and has a separate channel dedicated to teaching.
The Iilluminaughtii & LegalEagle Controversy Explained
The chaos began on April 20 when Blair tweeted, accusing LegalEagle’s creative team of plagiarizing her video editing style.
“Not LegalEagle editors broaching my editors to take my video’s style dan when they didn’t give up the info they literally copied it (and btw I have the messages from my editors and found an email from them too). Just changed the color form purple to blue, huh? Interesting.”
Right away, here’s debunking her claims: First of all, the LegalEagle’s editor asked for a tip on using a specific Adobe feature that Blair’s editor used in their NFL video. And also, he was asking for his own personal video and not for LegalEagle.
Secondly, Blair claims that since her editors refused to give any info, they copied their style. This statement is false since the editor asked for a tip unrelated to what was “copied,” apparently.
According to Blair, the LegalEagle team copied their “torn paper” template and only changed the color while using their highlighting text video edits. Here’s a factual rebuttal–
- LegalEagle team has been using the “torn paper” effect four years ago before Blair’s videos.
- These are not really features specifically innovated by Blair’s editors. There is a legit video tutorial on how to create a “Vox style highlighter effect.”
LegalEagle responded, demonstrating poise and rationale. After receiving severe backlash, Blair deleted her original tweet and apologized to LegalEagle personally.
But the case was far from closed, as more allegations against Blair resurfaced following her distasteful tweet.
The Iilluminaughtii Rabbit Hole
Plagiarism: several other content creators accused Blair of plagiarism, where she copied transcripts verbatim. An exhibit shows that she copied from an old documentary for her anti-vaxxers video.
DARVO Queen of Youtube: Coming back to Sad Milk, Blair created a hostile work environment where she allegedly demonstrated– authoritarian control, neglect, debt-trap diplomacy, victim blaming, backstabbing, bullying, silencing victims, doxing, frivolous litigation, emotional and psychological abuse, defamation, manipulation, stalking, harassment, intimidation, smear campaigns, and blackmail. The Click and Wonderstruck opened up about their experience working with Blair, where they accused her of yelling and verbally abusing them.
Smear Campaign: Blair allegedly created fake accounts like Sarah J. Warren, doobieshmirtz, and Laurago to spread a smear campaign against the Sad Milk crew by commenting on their past mistakes and escalating it to canceling them now. She would comment on her own post from various accounts to keep the narrative going that the Sad Milk boys were highly problematic.
Azothen accused his ex-girlfriend of being highly toxic and using abusive language. He released the audio recording of her threatening him on various occasions. He claimed she has a history of lying and would often create false narratives about other creators she was jealous of.
Blair uploaded a 42-minute-long apology video on YouTube, titled “iilluminaughtii exposed,” where she apologized for almost nothing but instead doubled down by accusing the other members to prove her innocence.
What is your verdict on this case? Do you think Blair made the huge mistake of starting a fire that burned down her career?
What are your thoughts on LegalEagle’s response? Let us know in the comments section below.