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Trisha Paytas Announces Departure From Frenemies Podcast With H3’s Ethan Klein

Paytas and Klein. Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by H3 Podcast/YouTube

Trisha Paytas is stepping away from their highly successful podcast, Frenemies, which they host with H3 Production’s Ethan Klein. In a 22-minute video posted to their YouTube channel, Paytas (who uses they/them pronouns) revived their sitting-on-the-kitchen-floor series to discuss the breakup, which many commenters believe will not last. The decision came after a fight on the most recent episode, which premiered for those with a paid membership on Monday and for everyone else on Tuesday, following their announcement. Paytas admitted that they had an “episode” when it came to one of the segments, which upset a new H3 producer who created it and her boyfriend, who also works at H3. (Paytas did not name either employee.) Paytas then took a larger issue with Klein allegedly saying Paytas doesn’t contribute. What then took place, according to those who viewed the episode early, was a conversation about the financial breakdown of the show held openly in front of employees, including that 5 percent of the AdSense revenue goes to the crew who creates it.

Paytas said that later that night, Klein informed them that the crew did not want to film a vlog with them the next day because “they thought you were really rude.” “I do need to apologize for the delivery of how I said it, but I just feel really, really icky about the situation and I really do think that I just don’t fit in,” they said, following up with “Everyone is really nice. I really do apologize for offending.”

“I’ve had ideas shot down, I was talked over when I was talking about trans people getting killed,” they continued. “Yes, I should’ve said something, but in that moment I just said the segment sucked.” Paytas said they have no issues with anyone on the crew, including Ethan and his wife, Hila Klein, who is the sister of Paytas’s fiancé, Moses Hacmon, but that it’s about them “not feeling the best in a situation and letting the audience down.” Paytas said Klein described them as the podcast “talent,” whereas they believed they were “50-50 building the show” and had more of a say. The duo began the podcast, produced by H3H3 Productions, in September 2020, after Paytas’s appearance on their “BacH3lorette” series. “I really wish I could’ve contributed more, I really do, because I feel like I am pretty creative and have good ideas and I wish I could’ve contributed a little more,” they said through tears. “I guess I should’ve just brought it up a different way and I am thankful for everything they’ve all done for the show.”

“I really am sorry, but I’m not sorry for how I feel,” they finished up.

Update, Wednesday, June 9, 10:32 a.m.: Following the Frenemies premiere on Tuesday, Trisha Paytas posted a second video reexplaining their actions. “It just is not fair to the employees if they feel disrespected by me,” they say. “That’s not fair to them and I really am taking myself out of the equation, it makes me uncomfortable, it makes them uncomfortable, that’s not the way to work.” In response, Ethan Klein defended his crew, whom he says have experienced harassment on their personal accounts, in several tweets that misgender Paytas. Just over an hour later, he removed the tweets.

“Erased most of my recent tweets regarding trisha - shouldn’t have said that on twitter - im going to take a step back for evening,” Klein tweeted. Paytas, however, had replied with many of their own tweets explaining their issues with Klein’s management, including screenshots of text messages between them and Klein that discuss their payment breakdown. (One screenshot showed Paytas using an anti-Semitic stereotype against Klein.) On Wednesday morning, Paytas also deleted their tweets and posted an apology on both Twitter and YouTube. In the video, they say they will “try to be offline.” “I made videos trying to explain myself and clarify but they’ve all fallen flat and made things worse. There’s nothing more I can say or want to say,” they wrote in multiple tweets, adding, “I apologize to Ethan, [crew members] Dan , Ian and Sam - like I really do. It’s embarrassing and I’m embarrassed. And most of all you guys - like it was cool af to be back in a popular group for just being me. Like love and positivity always feels good. And this right now , does not. I’m sorry.”

Trisha Paytas Leaves Frenemies Podcast With H3’s Ethan Klein