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The Gabbie Hanna and Escape the Night Drama, Explained

Joey Graceffa, left, and Gabbie Hanna. Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Getty Images

Gabbie Hanna can’t escape the maelstrom. The YouTube drama machine, by its nature, is constantly in search of its latest main character, and after stints circling around Leafy, Trisha Paytas, and Paul Brothers, all eyes are once again on the 30-year old former Vine star. Hanna’s latest dispute is laced with countless interlocking micro-controversies and subplots involving many other prominent YouTubers, but I’ll try to keep it brief.

Basically, Hanna uploaded a video to her channel sparking a beef with fellow YouTubers Joey Graceffa and Daniel Preda, who she says exacerbated her issues with disordered eating while on the season-four set of a scripted reality-show send-up called Escape the Night. (Think of it as a murder-mystery show that stars prominent YouTubers.) Graceffa, the series creator, and Preda, a senior producer, served as the orchestrating duo behind the season, which was filmed in 2019. Hanna accuses the pair of ignoring her specific dietary requests, dressing her in uncomfortable clothing, and unceremoniously killing off her character after a particularly bad argument with a director.

“By the end of the first day I was like, ‘Okay, there’s literally no healthy food,’” she says, in that video. “I pulled Daniel aside and I said, ‘I understand that this is the first day, but please make sure that there’s the proper food tomorrow … I was very unhappy because I was fucking hungry, dude. Not eating enough, and not eating the right food, and in the mental state that whenever I eat one of these snacks, I’m blowing up a hundred sizes.”

Hanna, for her part, admits that her behavior on set was demanding (in her own words, she could be “a bitch”), but she felt like she was put in an untenable, volatile position. The environment was toxic, contends Hanna, and she isn’t the only person to blame for that. “I had a very emotional reaction to a very emotionally triggering situation, and I could’ve handled myself better. That’s why I apologized for it,” she says in the video. “But to not apologize back, to not take ownership of anything you did to contribute to that … You didn’t respect me as a person, as a friend, as a creator, and as a talent on your show.”

Naturally, YouTube being YouTube, the two Escape the Night creators were not going to take those charges lying down. A day after Hanna’s confessional, Graceffa uploaded a video titled “Gabbie Hanna Needs to Stop.” Graceffa sets the tone up top, saying, “I want to give you guys a spoiler warning, Gabbie was actually the nightmare.” And he doesn’t pull any punches from there. Graceffa claims that Preda dutifully supplied Hanna with the “healthy meals” (from Whole Foods, he emphasizes) that she requested, and that Hanna approved the outfit she wore in Escape the Night. Furthermore, Graceffa asserts that Hanna ghosted two subsequent wardrobe fittings and includes emails onscreen as backup.

Preda, of course, produced his own hourlong retort, laying a litany of toxicity at Hanna’s feet. He argues that Gabbie was frequently disruptive and unprofessional, and referred to an assistant as a “dumb fucking cunt” after her call time was adjusted by 15 minutes. “There is never an appropriate time to use that sort of language to anyone. Let alone somebody who’s on the crew, somebody who’s on the cast,” said Preda in his video. “It is disgusting behavior. It is unprofessional. And it truly shows who you are as a person, and I don’t think Gabbie even remembers that.”

Some of the other YouTubers involved in Escape the Night — including Alex Wassabi, Manny Mua, and Rosanna Pansino — weighed in on Twitter, siding with Gracfetta and Preda. “I don’t like drama, but Gabbie’s video paints an untruthful picture of what happened. Much of it is simply false,” wrote Pansino in a tweet, adding that the entire cast was given dietary restriction forms before shooting began, and that all of her requests were addressed.

And so, we are all witness to the latest chapter of disorienting drama from Gabbie Hanna. She has yet to respond to the latest accusations levied by Graceffa and Preda, but this is far from the first time Hanna has found herself fighting with multiple YouTubers. Kat Tenbarge, at Insider, wrote an exhaustive history of Hanna’s many feuds, originating with a 2019, still-ongoing scuffle with fellow contentious YouTuber Trisha Paytas, as the two play an inexhaustible game of she said, they said.

It’s worth mentioning that Hanna’s original indictment of Gracfetta and Preda came from an unfinished video series on her channel that aims to document her various dustups over the years. It’s called Confessions of a WashedUp YouTube HasBeen, and it seems likely that, as this current rehashed story makes headlines, there’s already another one on the horizon. There is great monetization potential to be found in an embarrassing, slow-motion public catastrophe. This will not be the last we hear from Hanna. It’s hard to learn your lesson when the numbers keep going up.

The Gabbie Hanna and Escape the Night Drama, Explained