James Jackson (born: Gregory James Daniel; November 11, 1985 ), better known online as Onision, is an American YouTuber, internet personality. He is sometimes described as "the most controversial YouTuber," and "YouTube's most troubled star". He is most recognizable in mainstream media as the creator of the viral video, "Banana Song (I'm A Banana)". He owns multiple other YouTube channels, including OnisionSpeaks, UhOhBro, Encore, and Archive.
Onision 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. It was later stated by Greg on his UhOhBro channel that he had never lived in Oregon. Another suspected hometown would be Auburn, WA, given to us via Archive.org from his old YouTube channel.
Greg's parents divorced when he was two-years-old after his father was convicted of committing a sexual crime against a minor. At age 15, Greg was physically attacked by his father when he strangled him. He retaliated in self-defense by repeatedly kicking his father in the chest. He was afterward arrested and spent some time in juvenile prison. A recurring theme in Greg's videos has been his struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts or behaviors throughout his life. He has said that he was deeply depressed and suicidal in high school, from which he 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. He recounts one story where he held a gun to his head while serving in the Air Force. Having recovered from depression multiple times, he uses his experience to aid others as a peer adviser.
Greg is very close with his mother, who has appeared in videos of his, including "Ghosts Caught On Camera". Greg was an airman in the United States Air Force, from which he quit, citing its conflict with his liberal views.
His first channel was Onision, made back in 2006. In his earliest videos, Greg would refer to himself by Onision, 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 Greg, due in part to users accusing him of assigning himself as a professional on the matter of depression and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Despite these accusations, Greg 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, Greg implemented another channel, called OnisionEncore, in which he primarily video blogs. The OnisionEncore channel has the most inconsistent upload schedule of all Greg's channels and is not considered by him or fans as a primary channel of his.
In 2012, Greg 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.
Greg has written two novels that are a mixture of real events and fictional ones. "Stones To Abbigale" was published on March 29th, 2015. It follows James who is described as a "better version" of Greg and exploring themes of school shootings and love. The original cover was replaced due to it depicting an inappropriate amount of blood.
His second novel "This Is Why I Hate You" was published on 11th September 2015 and is a darker book compared to his first. It has many similarities to Greg's own experiences in the Air Force and is written in a diary form style.
Both of his books have been critiqued for having many spelling and grammar errors due to a lack of professional editors, although it is said by Onision in a video that he published the rough drafts of his books rather than the edited version. Whether it truly was an accident was never clarified.
Greg's video styling has been known to shift throughout his career. At many points in time, he has been seen as happy, humourous, and cheerful, while at other points he has been seen as mentally unstable. 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.
Greg's fan-base is predominantly American females in the 13+ age demographic. Due to this being his primary following since early in his career, Greg has an adept understanding of his community and applies this understanding to his videos of grooming. 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, Greg has never commented on whether or not he utilizes any particular production methods to improve his user reception.
Greg has not specified his exact place of birth but has confirmed his birth date as November 11, 1985. Greg's mother was told during pregnancy by her doctors that Greg had a high rate of birth defect, and should thus be aborted. He has two unnamed sisters.
Greg married his first wife, Skye Tantaga, in 2005. The two appeared in many videos on the Onision channel together. The couple separated in 2010 at Greg's urge. Greg 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.
Greg began a highly publicized relationship with Shiloh Hoganson in 2011. Greg and Shiloh moved in together early in their relationship. Greg has said that the two broke up many times, for very brief periods, before splitting for two months in the Summertime of 2011. During this time, Greg dated Adrienne Jourgansen, a little-known YouTuber he had met online. Following his split from Adrienne after only some weeks, Greg had reunited with Shiloh, before they split again in December 2011. The two have not reunited since.
Greg married a second time to Taylor Anderson (better known by her alias on YouTube, 'Laineybot') in 2012. Lainey came into the picture as a fan of Onision in late 2011. After one of his breakups with Shiloh, Lainey began to tweet him. Despite having gotten back together with Shiloh, Onision started to reply to her via his forums and twitter every so often over the next few months. They met in person when Onision (secretly) flew down to New Mexico where she (Lainey) lived. He decided to rent a house there until Lainey graduated high school, as she was only 17. Onision and Lainey had tried to keep their relationship a secret, perhaps because they knew of the backlash he would have received for dating another underage person. Supposedly after their graduation in June, Lainey moved in with him into his house in Seattle. The two have since made their relationship public now that Lainey is no longer a minor. It was discovered in early 2013 that Lainey was pregnant with Onision's baby. Due to further backlash and threats, especially towards the baby, on social media, Lainey stopped posting baby bump pictures completely by September. They both decided not to post any pictures of their child, not even after birth. However, reflections of the child can be seen in Lainey's sunglasses in a video Onision uploaded titled: "I'll never stop loving you (a song for my son)". It is believed that the child's name is Troy. On January 26, 2016, Onision posted a video titled "I Betrayed My Wife", he revealed that he had cheated on Lainey with her girlfriend at the time. He claimed he didn't do anything he wouldn't do with a friend, but was unaware that cuddling with the person would be considered as cheating. He added that Lainey and him are separating but not getting divorced yet. They later announced that they were going to try relationship counseling. Such videos were posted on Greg's "comedy" channel and revealed to be made for attention.
Middle [real] name
There is much controversy surrounding Onision's real name. On Wikipedia, it says his full name is "Gregory Daniel Jackson", a claim debunked by Onision himself. A recent Facebook account with the name "Taylor A. Laine" was friends with someone named "Gregory James", prompting the theory that that’s his real name. The account was later removed.
Throughout his YouTube career, Onision has been known as one of the most controversial YouTubers on the site. 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" Controversy
In April 2009 Onision uploaded a video called "Murder Eaters" which sparked controversy. In the video, he rants about the population of the world that eats meat saying he does not "give a f*ck" about their opinions and going as far to call them "murderers". The video was eventually deleted, potentially because of the criticism it received. However, replicas of it can be found on YouTube.
Feud with Shay Butler
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. Greg attacked Butler via Twitter, leading to a massive influx of negativity over social media towards Greg from Butler's fan-base. Greg apologized for implying that his comments were "made personal," but did not apologize for his criticism of Butler.
Divorce from his first wife
Greg became the subject of scrutiny again in late-2010 into early-2011, following his divorce from his first wife. On December 22, 2010, Greg 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 Greg posted a video to YouTube documenting that his home had been broken into and that many of his belongings had been stolen, implying that she was the culprit. The authenticity of this incident was brought into question within hours of its release, as many users questioned why Greg 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 Greg to remove the video, though multiple replicas had already been uploaded to YouTube and other websites. In a video released in 2012, Greg confirmed that she was responsible for the burglary. In a video named YOU WERE LIED TO (Part 1) he asks for the censorship of his ex-wife's name.
Relationship with Shiloh Hoganson
Starting in early 2011, Greg began a highly problematic and extremely publicized relationship with Canadian singer/songwriter Shiloh Hoganson, also known as Draculoh. Hoganson first began appearing in Greg's videos in April 2011, not long after the two started dating. From that point forward, Hoganson made regular appearances on Greg's channels. In the Summer of 2011, Greg uploaded a video titled "Shiloh Forgot Me," in which he films Hoganson experiencing memory loss from a range of up to three years. The amount of stress that Shiloh was under caused her to have a seizure. The video sparked criticism of Greg for uploading and filming Hoganson during a memory loss episode instead of seeking emergency medical attention for her. This was the first of the many controversial videos regarding Hoganson. Also in the summer of 2011, Greg released another highly controversial video regarding Hoganson, in which she is filmed suffering from a seizure. This caused a tremendous amount of backlash towards Greg, as he was criticized for not seeking emergency medical attention for Hoganson. Greg 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 Greg and Hoganson. She also admitted during a live interview with a "fan" of Greg's, that she was unsure of Greg's intentions throughout the relationship, as the impression she received that he was only interested in sexual intercourse, which may have been a leading cause of the final outcome of the relationship.
First Separation from Hoganson & Relationship with Adrienne Jourgansen
Following a series of other controversial videos posted through early- and mid-2011, including a telling blog post by Hoganson regarding hers and Greg's relationship (the authenticity of which has been brought into question), Greg and Hoganson ended their relationship for roughly two months in August. On September 3, 2011, Greg posted a video titled "I Found Her," confirming he had begun a relationship with a woman who would later be identified as Adrienne Jourgansen. Jourgansen was believed to be at least seven years Greg's junior. The relationship lasted a short time, prompting Jourgansen to publish a letter about her association with Greg. 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 Greg had forced Jourgansen to have sex with him without using a condom, which he has neither confirmed nor denied since the particular claim. Also in her letter, Jourgansen revealed that she had email correspondence with Hoganson's mother, in which she wrote (to Jourgansen): “...He [Greg] 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 [Greg] just found the weakest link... It scares me because I know how calloused he [Greg] is from the last time. I was there to rescue her at that time but now she’s too far away and knows absolutely nobody there. He [Greg] 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
In November 2011, Greg 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 Greg's announcement that Hoganson was pregnant, Greg posts a video update stating that she had suffered a miscarriage. The same month, Greg 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, Greg 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 Greg and Hoganson that took place in December 2011 was brought into question. Greg then released a video titled "Goodbye Shiloh," in which he claims that he and Hoganson had officially ended their relationship. Greg 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 Greg'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). Shiloh and Greg have since moved on.
Rape Comments & Barring from VidCon 2012
In January 2012, allegations arose that Greg 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 [Greg]." In the same statement, Jourgansen also claims that Greg had forced her into having intercourse without the use of a condom. Soon after, Greg 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 Greg 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 Greg, 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, Greg 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 Greg, as well as front-office members of VidCon if they let Greg attend, VidCon opted to bar Greg from their 2012 event, citing that "if it is possible [Greg] will not be safe, we will not let [him] come." This saw a response from Greg, in which he posted to Facebook, prompting those who had wanted to see him at the event should "demand a refund." Greg later revealed in "Why People Hate Onision", uploaded in 2013, that he apologized to Jourgansen, and she accepted the apology, she later sent an email offering him friendship also telling him she was moving to his area and they should hang out, which apparently wasn't true, as he explains he thought about it in one of his videos.
Feud with Smosh and Criticism of King of The Web
In May 2012, Greg 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 Greg's videos.
Your Emo Problems Video
In the video, he responds to a fan that says that they are being abused by their mother and that they are battling depression. Greg says that they can't blame anyone but themselves because of that. He has gotten a lot of backlash from that video.
Killing his Tortoise
Greg was also responsible for killing his pet Russian Tortoise, Reptar, by keeping it underneath a plastic bin outdoors in the middle of the heat. He was unaware that the chemical reaction would cause a greenhouse effect, removing oxygen from the container. After this news sparked controversy, Greg initially took some responsibility for Reptar's death before coming up with various excuses to avoid doing so. One of Greg's actions of avoidance was by pointing the finger at his viewers for the same crime by making a proclamation that they were just as guilty as he is for eating meat. Greg additionally went so far as to push blame on his neighbors for being noisy, as well as at one point claiming he researched the situation and discovered that Reptar died from stress, and therefore he couldn't be blamed for his death. This was clearly false because no living creature could survive in such conditions, and ultimately it was, in reality, carelessness and lack of research that led to it.
He was also seen prior to this incident put the tortoise in situations that would, by natural instinct, cause the animal a great deal of stress and fear, such as carrying it in the air to simulate the motion of flight. If nothing else, this can be extremely traumatizing for tortoises, and Greg has been criticized for this, with some going as far as to call it animal cruelty.
Views on Depression and Abuse
Another common criticism is Greg's views toward depression and abuse, as he has continuously partaken in blaming victims of abuse and asserted that depression is the fault of the person who is depressed. Greg at one point made a video called "RISE ABOVE HATE" where he told a teenage girl with suicidal thoughts, brought on by abuse at the hands of her mom, to take matters into her own hands. Greg has been criticized for this, with some commenters claiming that his statements show that he lacks knowledge and awareness regarding depression and abuse.
On June 11, 2016, Onison made some very controversial comments on his Twitter about the death of YouTuber/singer Christina Grimmie. He stated that "Christina gets shot and you all prayed for her. 1. If your god cared she would not have been shot. 2. You prayed, she still died. Wake Up" Onison faced severe backlash on these comments. Onison has since apologized, stating that he did not intend to hurt people's feelings.
Being accused of forcing his wife to date Instagram star Billie Dawn Webb
At some point between December 6, 2015, and January 25, 2016, Onision's wife Taylor Anderson began dating a 18-year-old Instagram star named Billie Dawn Webb. Onision claims that Taylor wanted to date Billie and he only encouraged her to, however, Taylor has tweeted that this was not the case and that the truth is she never wanted to date Billie but Greg kept pushing her to.
Shane Dawson's Weight Gain
In mid-2017, Onision uploaded a video talking about how Shane Dawson has gained weight over the years and how to not make him get overweight again as he was throughout his childhood. Greg insisted he was helping him but many said he was blatantly fat-shaming him for views, subscribers, and money, also accusing him of doing it because he is not too fond of Shane.
Anthony Padilla leaving Smosh
Not long after Anthony Padilla left Smosh, a YouTube channel he co-founded, Onision made a parody of his announcement, basically belittling the reasons why he left. Many told Onision he didn't have empathy for Anthony leaving the sketch comedy YouTube channel and he is just doing it to be relevant and to "get a paycheck". Some, however, disagreed, saying that Onision's parody was humorous, this group of individuals also featuring fans of Smosh.
Coming Out As A FurryIn a video posted to his channel in early December of 2018 (which was deleted soon after for unconfirmed reasons) Onision talked about how as a teen he had some minor involvement with the furry community thanks to one of his friends at the time, and although he had never identified as a furry he mentioned feeling very "welcome" and "at home" among them. He even says that at one point he had made a crude drawing of a 'Fursona', which he had found again recently and decided to "touch it up a bit".
Later in the the video he says that he is planning to more openly participate in the furry community, and even possibly order a custom fursuit.
Destruction of Wildlife
From mid-2018 to late 2018, Onision would post videos of him cutting down trees that were deemed to be protected wildlife by Washington State. Many YouTubers created videos on how Onision's actions were completely unethical and broke Washington State's laws on protected wildlife. Nevertheless Onision would lose the court case in December 2018 and was forced to pay fines for his actions.
Patreon Getting Shut Down
On November 27, 2019, Patreon officially shut down Onision's page. In response to this, Onision posted a video of him having a breakdown, spilling Komboucha, and acting erractic. He would then post a series of videos displaying more of his erractic behavior in action, claiming he was "sorry" with other videos of his being serious. His breakdown was covered by many YouTubers during that time.
Beginning in 2019, Chris Hansen, a notable TV personality known for "To Catch a Predator" created his YouTube and began a months-long investigation into Onision, documenting Onision's abuse of his ex girlfriends and his alleged grooming of underaged girls. Over the months, Onision has threatened Chris Hansen both directly and indirectly and calls Chris a "stalker and a hater" due to Chris simply documenting Onision's controversial online activities. After interviewing several of Onision's victims, Chris took it upon himself to fly to Washington State in order to get Onision's side of the story on January 18th, 2020. However as Chris went to Onision's front porch and knocked on the door, Onision called the police on Chris and claimed that Chris was "harassing him online" and started an online campaign of harassment against him and his family. However when the police arrived at Onision's home, Chris was not charged of anything as the police found Onision's claims to not suffice for harassment. Chris continues to produce content around Onision and is in contacts with the FBI to potentially open a case against James Jackson for good.
Daughter Falling Off The Window
On January 20, 2020, Onision's young daughter fell out of the second story window at a 20 foot fall. This resulted in her getting skull fractures. This resulted in further outrage with many claiming that Onision and his husband Kai being negligent parents, and not caring about the well-being of the child. This also occurred a mere two days after Chris Hansen's visit.
Repzion Court Case
On January 24th, 2020, Onision's court case against Repzion began. However James ultimately dismissed the court case on the same day. The court case was mired with flaws, from getting the wrong Chris Hansen to Onision going the idea of continuing his suit against Repzion. Repzion would create a video on the aftermath of the situation, criticizing Onision for wasting court and law enforcement resources over petty drama.
Greg is an outspoken Democratic Socialist who voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 election. He favors elements of Communism, specifically the idea of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need", famously cited by Karl Marx himself. Moreover, Greg appears to oppose free market capitalism, and believes in "economic equality”.
Onision thinks critically of conservatism in general.
Greg is pro-life to a degree, but thinks favorably of the pro-choice movement.
Greg is staunchly pro-immigration, and is largely opposed to the Donald Trump Muslim ban.
Onision does not want to restrict gun laws or impose gun control. He claims that "according to statistics, most gun owners are responsible".
Watch Mojo's "TopX" Series
Top 10 Controversial YouTube Channels
Onision was ranked 2nd on Watch Mojo's Top Controversial YouTube Channels.
- 1 million subscribers: August 10, 2011
- 2 million subscribers: May 16, 2012
Video View Milestones
- 100 million views: June 24, 2010
- 200 million views: October 14, 2011
- 300 million views: June 14, 2012