Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 October 2019

Brooke Houts faces online backlash after accidentally uploading footage beating her dog

The online influencer is now being investigated by the LAPD for her actions

Influencer Brooke Houts is in hot water after accidentally uploading footage of herself abusing her dog. 
Influencer Brooke Houts is in hot water after accidentally uploading footage of herself abusing her dog. 

Oh the irony. Online influencer Brooke Houts has accidentally uploaded footage of herself smacking and shouting at her dog, and the online community is losing its mind.

Houts, who has nearly 335,000 subscribers on YouTube, seemingly inadvertently published the controversial footage as she was trying to film a post.

With an online persona of being happy-go-lucky, the footage shows Houts kneeling on the floor in her living room addressing the camera. As she is speaking, her dog wanders into shot and stands in front of her, blocking the camera.

Click below to see the video:

Clearly irritated, she responds by smacking and shouting at it, pushing it away. However, being a dog, it immediately comes straight back (she is, after all at its eye level and as any dog owner will testify, this is an open invitation to a canine) at which point she slams it on to its side and leans over it, and seems to spit at it. As the animal stands up and moves away, Houts gets to her feet and chases it off camera, shouting. This was all streamed live, on YouTube.

Online response to her video

The response in the online community has been fairly swift, with the clip down voted 27,000 times, forcing Houts to disable comments. Numerous users then called for her to be blocked or deleted online, while People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) requested YouTube delete her account, addressing a post to Houts that read "if you can't treat dogs with kindness....don't get one".

Even fellow YouTuber Logan Paul (a man not unfamiliar with appalling behaviour) has taken to the platform to denounce her actions as “remarkably grotesque”.

Now, having received multiple complaints, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has confirmed it is investigating the matter.

Her apology

Houts has since deleted the footage and issued an apology via Twitter to “anyone who has been affected negatively by the footage", explaining that it was originally intended to be footage of the cling film prank on her dog (a harmless gag where a doorway is blocked with see-through cling film, to confuse a pet.)

She explained her aggressive behaviour towards her dog — a Doberman — by saying that “when he is jumping up in my face with his mouth open, I, as a dog parent, have to show him that this behaviour is unacceptable.”

She then goes on to explain that contrary to the footage, she is not an animal abuser, although she concedes, “that regardless of what my dog does, I should not have acted that way towards him.”

While there is never an excuse for this kind of behaviour, it does raise the question of why anyone in the right mind would want to go head-to-head with a doberman, but the larger issue here, of course, is about the Truman Show style voyeurism of the minutiae of peoples lives, and those that willingly (and profitably) post every detail of their lives for public consumption.

One can only assume that Houts is so used to uploading her life, so comfortable with a lens constantly recording, that she didn’t think twice about broadcasting this part of it. Only once the backlash began did she come out with an apology.

The online community is fickle, and only time will tell what (if any) the long term damage to Houts career will be. However, what this whole sorry episode does throw into the spotlight (because lets face it, the dog is absolutely fine) is those who live by the online sword, should be prepared to die by it.

Updated: August 8, 2019 01:44 PM

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