James Jackson (born November 11, 1985), nee Gregory James Daniel & known also as Gregory Jackson & Gregory Avaroe, is an American video maker and internet personality. Though most commonly known as Greg Avaroe throughout his YT career, he has changed his several names to distance himself from some of the controversies that surround his name.
He is known on YouTube as Onision, the name of his flagship channel. He is most recognizable in mainstream media as the co-creator (with his ex-wife, Skye Tantaga) of the viral video "Banana Song (I'm A Banana),", a comedy number inspired by the 'Peanut Butter Jelly Time' video & the scandal that erupted when Thomas Kirk aka The Amazing Atheist, was found to have made a lewd video that included penetration with a banana. As of October 2019 it has amassed over 75 million views. His channels gained popularity amongst younger viewers due to a combination of comedic skits & being an outspoken advocate for veganism/vegetarianism. However, in 2019, he is now more recognizable for perceived vile behavior and alleged abuse of numerous young women who have claimed stories of abuse by James.
Onision was born Gregory Daniel in November 1985. He has never outwardly discussed his birthplace or hometown, but it is believed that he was born or at least lived in Oregon at some point during his upbringing, due to his mentioning going to school in Oregon.
Greg's parents divorced when he was two-years-old, after his father was allegedly convicted for committing a sexual crime against a minor. At age 15, Greg claims he was 'physically attacked' by his father, where he retaliated in 'self-defense', repeatedly kicking his father in the chest.
A recurring theme in Greg's videos has been his struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts or behaviors throughout his life. Despite supposedly going through a tough time, he continues to criticize, belittle and mock people who are going through the same thing. For example, a teenager who wrote to him asking for advice with dealing with a verbally abusive parent, was told by Greg it was 'their fault' for reacting to the abuse.
He has said that he was deeply depressed and suicidal in high school, from which he seemed to have recovered. He has gone on record stating that he was again depressed and having suicidal thoughts in his adult life, as a result of his on-going struggle with his personal life.
Having recovered from depression multiple times, he uses his experience aid others as a peer-advisor by victim blaming and claiming that depression is 'just a choice'.
Greg was very close with his mother (some may say too close), who has appeared in videos of his, including "Ghosts Caught On Camera". He has alluded that their relationship has soured, though this is inconclusive. His relationship appears to be a complicated one, as he both gifted her his first house & also accused her of beating him with a flashlight. According to Jackson, she used to give him full naked body messages. He has made videos with his sister, who is a pilot, but has also accused her of 'being a snob' & allegedly hiding/enabling their childhood sexual abuser. However, neither sister has commented and this claim, like many others that have been made within Greg's circle of family, friends and foes, remains unverified.
Greg was an airman in the United States Air Force, from which he quit, citing its conflict with his liberal views. He refused to kill a rabbit during training and did not like that the Air Force did not cater to his every need. He was released under a General discharge (with Honorable Conditions) but it is not known if this was later appealed by Jackson to be restored to a full Honorable Discharge.
YouTube Career Edit
Gregory started his first channel, Onision, in 2006. In his earliest videos, Greg would refer to himself by the name of his channel, though he has said he initially planned on referring to himself as and being referred to as "Greg." Despite this, the name Onision stuck with him, and it has been his identity since.
Greg created his second channel, OnisionArchive, in 2008. He never went into detail about the nature of this second channel when he started it, but it was used as a secondary channel in the same way many YouTubers utilized secondary channels at the time; as a platform for additional content, as well as to maximize on the earning power of his audience via advertisements. As of 2009, the OnisionArchive channel has been used in the way its name suggests; as a user archive.
In 2009, Greg created the channel OnisionSpeaks (known by him and fans simply as Speaks), as a charity effort to support awareness of vegetarianism. Shortly after its conception, however, the OnisionSpeaks channel became his primary self-help and peer-advisory channel. Because of its nature, the channel has been a source of controversy for Jackson, due in part to users accusing Jackson of assigning himself a professional on the matter of depression and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Despite these accusations, Jackson has never conveyed that he believes himself to be of expert help, and has often urged viewers to understand that he can only offer advice.
In 2011, Jackson implemented another channel, called OnisionEncore, in which he primarily video blogs. The OnisionEncore channel has the most inconsistent upload schedule of all Jackson's channels, and is not considered by him or fans as a primary channel of his.
In 2012, Jackson created his most recent channel UhOhBro, on which he uploads videos of him searching for and reacting in real-time to various topics, which he searches for on the search engine Google. The UhOhBro channel was his most updated channel in 2012, and continues to see a high volume of uploads on a regular basis. Although in May of 2017 He made a temporary leave from posting on UhOhBro because of the "Adpocolypse" which is ongoing, but he soon returned.
Video Styles Edit
Jackson's video styling has been known to shift throughout his career. At many points in time, he has been seen as happy, humorous, and cheerful, while at other points he has been perceived as high-strung, irrational, and excessively angry. By his own account, he has said to change his personality depending on the video he is releasing, based on what he believes the proper delivery of the particular video should be.
Jackson's fanbase is predominantly American females in the 11 to 16 age demographic. He likes to post pictures of him on his channel while they're only in their underwear and bra. Due to this being his primary following since early in his career, Jackson has an adept understanding of his community, and applies this understanding to his videos. He has been criticized for this practice, with critics citing that he manipulates his audience by releasing videos he knows they will react to, while claiming such videos are his own self-expression - commonly referred to as manipulative production. Despite the accusations, Jackson has never commented on whether or not he utilizes any particular production methods to improve his user reception.
Throughout his YouTube career, Jackson has been known as a controversial YouTuber. This is credited mostly to aspects of his person or his videos throughout his career: his brash delivery of certain viewpoints he has (or has had), his feuding with various other users, his showcasing of deeply private aspects of his personal life, and his handling of certain subjects when communicating with his audience.
"Murder Eaters" and "Whale Attack" Controversy Edit
The earliest of Jackson's controversies came in February 24th 2009, when he uploaded a video titled "Murder Eaters." In the video he criticizes the population of the world that regularly consumes meat, calling them "murderers" and proclaiming he "does not give a fuck" about the lives and opinions of those that eat meat. He quickly removed the video less than one week after its release. Another controversial video of his was "Whale Attack", uploaded on March 31st 2009. In this video, he criticizes anti-whaling meat eaters, claiming they're "hypocrites", and how donating to children in Africa is stupid and reckless because there are problems in America as well that people neglect.
Users such as "antybu86" and "idiotech93" both responded to these videos, however they got copyright struck by Onision a while after, sparking even more controversy. Later on, that video was removed as well.
Feud with Shay Butler Edit
His next controversy came in 2010, where he criticized Shaytards proprietor and former Maker Studios partner Shay Butler for saying that he was going to have his newest son circumcised. Jackson attacked Butler via Twitter, leading to a massive influx of negativity over social media towards Jackson from Butler's fan-base. Jackson apologized for implying that his comments were "made personal," but did not apologize for his criticism of Butler.
Divorce from Skye Tantaga Edit
Jackson became the subject of scrutiny again in late-2010 into early-2011, following his divorce from his first wife Skye Tantaga. On December 22, 2010, Jackson posted to his portals a contract stating that he agreed to offer financial support to Tantaga - up to 30% of his total income - for one year. He was criticized for this, as it was seen as very specific private information that was not necessary to share via the internet.
The controversy went even further on December 25, 2010, when Jackson posted a video to YouTube documenting that his home had been broken into and that many of his belongings had been stolen, implying that Tantaga was the culprit. The authenticity of this incident was brought into question within hours of its release, as many users questioned why Jackson had first thought to film and upload a video instead of contacting the authorities. This (and potentially along with the nature of the video itself) prompted Jackson to remove the video, though multiple replicas had already been uploaded to YouTube and other websites.
In a video released in 2012, Jackson alleged that Tantaga was responsible for the burglary.
Relationship with Shiloh Hoganson Edit
Starting in early-2011, Jackson began a highly problematic and extremely publicized relationship with Canadian singer/songwriter Shiloh Hoganson, also known as Draculoh. Hoganson first began appearing in Jackson's videos in April 2011, not long after the two started dating. From that point forward, Hoganson made regular appearances on Jackson's channels.
In the Summer of 2011, Jackson uploaded a video titled "Shiloh Forgot Me," in which he films Hoganson experiencing memory loss from a range of up to three years. The video sparked criticism of Jackson for uploading filming Hoganson during memory loss episode instead of seeking emergency medical attention for her. This was the first of the many controversial videos regarding Hoganson.
Also in Summer of 2011, Jackson released another highly controversial video regarding Hoganson, in which she is filmed suffering from a seizure. This caused a tremendous amount of backlash towards Jackson, as he was criticized for not seeking emergency medical attention for Hoganson. Jackson defended his actions, saying Hoganson had requested not to receive emergency medical attention. In addition to this, the video is believed to be fabricated completely, causing criticism to both Jackson and Hoganson.
First Separation from Hoganson & Relationship with Adrienne Jourgansen* Edit
Following a series of other controversial videos posted through early- and mid-2011, including a telling blog post by Hoganson regarding hers and Jacksons' relationship (the authenticity of which has been brought into question), Jackson and Hoganson ended their relationship for roughly two months in August. On September 3, 2011, Jackson posted a video titled "I Found Her," confirming he had begun a relationship with a woman who later be identified as Adrienne Jourgansen. Jourgansen was believed to be the one of the very few women who was over 20 when the relationship began. The relationship lasted a short time, prompting Jourgansen to publish a letter about her association with Jackson.. She wrote:
“...It felt like the more I [rejected] his attempts at controlling the situation, the more extravagant his next attempt would be. It was like the ultimate game of pong; back and forth, until one of us would slip up, and then it’s game over. I want you to remember, this is still night 3 of us talking. Not 3 years, not 3 months, not 3 weeks, 3 days. Please notice how he is already throwing the L word around — as if he is using it to control me and invoke fear, rather than to express any genuine feelings for me...”
She also adds:
“He told me that Shiloh is a psychotic [pathological] liar — that almost every word that comes out of her mouth is fabricated or designed to hurt someone. I think it goes without saying that he told me he didn’t believe she was pregnant and that she lied entirely about losing her memory — that she admitted it to him later."
The letter also includes a claim that Jackson had forced Jourgansen to have sex with him without using a condom, which he has neither confirmed nor denied since the particular claim. She also said that Greg told her he found dating women his age difficult, as he was used to being 'the babysitter' in all his relationships, suggesting a degree of control & manipulation that would not work on an older woman.
Also in her letter, Jourgansen revealed that she had an email correspondence with Hoganson's mother, in which she wrote (to Jourgansen):
“...He [Jackson] tried mending things with his wife [Skye Tantaga] when he booted Shiloh [Hoganson] out, and now he’s turned to her [Hoganson] when you guys didn’t work out… He [Jackson] just found the weakest link... It scares me because I know how calloused he [Jackson] is from the last time. I was there to rescue her that time but now she’s too far away and knows absolutely nobody there. He [Jackson] is evil personified. It’ll only be a matter of time before he kicks her out onto the street again... She just doesn’t seem to have any self worth any more..."
Reunion with Hoganson Edit
In November 2011, Jackson revealed that he and Hoganson had been reunited for about one month, and that she was pregnant with their child (in a video titled "Our Child").
Exactly one month after Jackson's announcement that Hoganson was pregnant, Jackson posts a video update stating that she had suffered a miscarriage. The same month, Jackson released a video titled "Shiloh Has Sepsis," in which he reveals Hoganson was diagnosed with the potentially life-threatening inflammatory condition Sepsis. Immediately following this video however, Jackson posts a video titled "I'm Sorry," where he claims that Hoganson fabricated the Sepsis diagnosis.
Following these videos, the authenticity of the interactions between Jackson and Hoganson that took place in December 2011 was brought into question. Jackson then released a video titled "Goodbye Shiloh," in which he claims that he and Hoganson had officially ended their relationship. Jackson responded to those who doubted the situation between Hoganson and himself, asking "why would [he] show the truth just for views when [his] imagination can make up something much more entertaining?" Following the "Goodbye Shiloh" video, Hoganson never again appeared in any of Jackson's videos, and he has since not mentioned her name (including when he has answered questions about her, citing his interest in minimizing her publicity).
Rape Comments & Barring from VidCon 2012 Edit
In January 2012, allegations arose that Jackson had raped or had otherwise forced a particular sexual act upon Adrienne Jourgansen while the two had dated in 2011. These allegations arose as early as mid-2011, but were once again circulated when Jourgansen made a statement that she felt "forced into [having sex] with [Jackson]." In the same statement, Jourgansen also claims that Jackson had forced her into having intercourse without the use of condom.
Soon after, Jackson denied the allegations, stating that the accusers had misinterpreted what Jourgansen was saying in her statement. This was followed by a string of highly controversial videos in which Jackson publicly made statements about Jourgansen, and infamously commented that Jourgansen had sex with more than 20 people before him, making her a "slut" and "incapable of being raped."
These statements lead to media headlines, resulting in over 1,000 user videos criticizing Jackson, and over 15,000 YouTube users petitioning either his YouTube Partnership being revoked, or his being banned from the portal entirely, or both. In the wake of the controversy, Jackson lost over 24,000 subscribers on January 13, 2012, which took him approximately six months to re-accumulate.
After receiving numerous death threats aimed at Jackson, as well as front-office members of VidCon if they let Jackson attend, VidCon opted to bar Jackson from their 2012 event, citing that "if it is possible [Jackson] will not be safe, we will not let [him] come." This saw response from Jackson, in which he posted to Facebook, prompting those who had wanted to see him at the event should "demand a refund."
Feud with Smosh and Criticism of King of The Web Edit
In May 2012, Jackson posted two videos in close range of each other, the first accusing the popular YouTube channel Smosh of stealing his material, and the second calling the King of The Web user voting competition a "scam." This prompted much backlash from fans of Smosh, with little response from fans of the King of The
Web competition. Neither the front offices of Smosh nor King of The Web acknowledged Jackson's videos.
Greg has since had possibly dozens of other controversies since then. In summary, some of these include, in no order of importance:
- Feud with YouTube
- Messy home
- Legal battle with ex-girlfriend
- His basement
- Conflict with Sam (an actress)
- Conflict with Social Repose, Eugenia and Jacklyn
- His relationship with Lainey in terms of maturity
- His finances and everything related, which may include a dozen or more sub-controveries
- His opinion on black hair care
- His backyard and destruction of protected wetlands
- His interactions with underage individuals
- His opinion on transsexuality
Personal Life Edit
Jackson has not specified his exact place of birth, but has confirmed his birth date as November 11th, 1985. Jackson's mother was told during pregnancy by her doctors that Jackson had a high rate of birth defect, and should thus be aborted.
Jackson married his first wife, Skye Tantaga, in 2005. The two appeared in many videos on Jackson's channel together. The couple separated in 2010 at Jackson's urge. Jackson claimed that the split was amicable, but he later stated that Tantaga had burglarized his home, suggesting that the split was more bitter than he had initially told his viewers. The divorce was finalized in October 2011.
Jackson began a highly publicized relationship with Shiloh Hoganson in 2011. Jackson and Hoganson moved in together early in their relationship. Jackson has said that the two broke up many times, for very brief periods, before splitting for two months in the Summer time of 2011. During this time, Jackson dated Adrienne Jourgansen, a little-known YouTuber he had met online. Following his split from Jourgansen after only some weeks, Jackson had reunited with Hoganson, before they split again in December 2011.
Jackson married his current spouse, Kai Anderson (formerly Lainey Avaroe, nee Taylor Elaine Anderson), in 2012 when Jackson was 26 and Anderson was 18. They met online when Jackson tweeted,"Soulmate, where are you?" and Kai responded,"Here." They have two children under 7. Anderson came out as a bisexual, transgender man and the pair have experimented with polyamory and non-monogamy. The marriage nearly ended during Anderson's second pregnancy, when Jackson wanted to leave the marriage for their mutual partner, Billie Dawn Webb and sign over custody of their children (verification needed). Webb had a change of heart and Jackson reconciled with Kai shortly after.
Fan Base Edit
He has nearly 7 million subscribers, counting all 7 of his channels. However since the 2015 scandal known as 'Cuddlegate' where he and his spouse Kai experimented with polyamory and had an acrimonious split with a teenager named Billie Dawn Webb and proposed a series of abusive and degrading punishments(verification needed) for her for smoking weed, (a misdemeanor in Virginia, where she was residing) he has seen a sharp decline in his views. Most of his videos struggle to hit over 10,000 views.There is also a different side of his "Fan" base, called the "Anti O" community which has an active presence on Youtube. Views by channels critical of his alleged interest in teenage girls for romantic relationships and his controversial opinions frequently get over 10 times the number of views his own channels do. In September of 2019 a girl named Sarah, who had lived with them as a minor during the period she was having a troubled homelife, alleged Jackson & his spouse took her in as their ward, groomed her to have sex with her as soon she was of legal age, dumping her shortly after. This led to calls for his channels to be deleted and Patreon to remove his account, and the hashtag #DeplatformPredators began trending on Twitter. As of October 2019 no charges have been filed but Sarah said she was exploring her legal options concerning this matter.