NEW YORK — YouTube star Joey Salads has never shied away from controversy.
From social experiments that shed light on child abductions to pranks that ended with Salads or a member of his prank crew getting roughed up, he’s definitely left his mark on YouTube.
However many now say the Staten Island native has crossed the line in his latest video “Terrorism: Radical Islam vs. Radical Christianity.”
In it, the prankster who’s real name is Joey Saladino, shows people reacting to two scenarios: one where a man dressed in a white thwab screams “God is Great’ in Arabic and drops a bomb-like device, and another where the man is dressed in plain clothing, utters
“Praise Jesus” and also drops the same device.
Over a million views later, the video was met with an onslaught of backlash, critics calling “racist” and “disgusting.”
The time of its upload - a day after the Orlando club shooting – also enraged many.
The YouTube star spoke to PIX11 Thursday, explaining why his produced the video.
“I wanted to show how America sees the two different religions when it comes to terror, how people compare to who they fear more,” Saladino explained. “I wanted to start a conversation on why.”
After the video made waves this week, Saladino says he was attacked, showing a bruised and swollen face in a video posted Tuesday night.
“So I was leaving the mall, heading to my car somebody assaulted me, and ran off,” he said. “I don’t know why, I don’t know if its for this video.”
“I’m not gonna say if its for this video because I’ve gotten death threats before.”
Saladino says he’s taking a break from YouTube as he now fears for his life, likening it to the recent fatal shooting of ‘The Voice’ contestant Christina Grimme.
“I honestly believe in my mind, I’m going to be the next one to get killed,” he said.
As far as plans go for taking the video down, the YouTube star says he does not have any.
“I will not take the video down because I am a firm believer of the freedom of speech and expressing yourself,” Saladino said. “So as soon as I delete that video, as soon as YouTube deletes that video, that means I’m giving in or YouTube is giving in to the suppression of freedom of speech.”