Michael Lawrence aka: MichaelBePetty is a YouTuber best known for his Amberlynn Redif reactions. Some people see Michael as a bully, but as someone who was bullied, there is a clear difference between giving someone the criticism they deserve (we’ll get to that in a moment) and just being mean for the fun of it.
I’ve been a fan of Michael’s for a while now, so I was delighted when he agreed to do a Skype interview. When I got the message that he was ready to go for our interview, I ran to my husband and I’s room and jumped on Skype! I was ready!
Michael was very sweet and open to any questions I had. I wanted to know about his anxiety because I have generalized anxiety disorder as well. Michael said that he touches his nose as a way to self-soothe and he didn’t even realize he did it until his livestreams. Michael then explained it and he got around forty direct messages about how so many others do the same thing.
I remember Michael mentioned it’s a problem on dates; so, I asked him what it’s like explaining it to the guys he goes out with. He said when he wants any kind of relationship, even a friendship, Michael will end up explaining his way of self-soothing because, like I said, he does it without realizing it. Michael said he doesn’t want to basically say, “Here’s all the stuff you have to look forward to.” Usually, though, things turn out fine when he explains things.
I told him that I took issue with him being called a bully because I see him as someone who has been in Amberlynn Reid’s shoes at one time, and that’s why he’s so tough on her during his livestreams. Michael agreed and said that he’s shocked that people call Zachery Michael (you can read our interview here) a bully, and he admitted that Zach is pretty tame compared to him. Then, he went on to say that he doesn’t hate Amberlynn just because she’s fat and that it’ss a stupid reason to not like someone. I agreed. Michael said that some of his best friends are fat and a lot of them like to hang out. “When you’re fat, you all tend to hang out together,” he laughed. In fact, just like Zach and I, Michael agrees that Kandy Fox is a cool person. (You can also read my interview with her here!) Michael doesn’t care that she does Big Beautiful Women content, as long as she doesn’t have this completely selfish attitude (which is being nice when it comes to Amberlynn), then there’s no reason to dislike Kandy.
We talked about social justice issues because Amberlynn allegedly made false rape accusations against her ex, which he seemed to debunk very well. So well in fact that Amberlynn took down her video in which she accused him. We discussed the #MeToo Movement and how glad we were that this accusation was made before it started; not that it should have been made in the first place, but Michael believes Amberlynn would have made this whole #MeToo fluff piece and milked it for all its entirety.
Michael went on to say that he has a #MeToo moment (I have two myself). His story is not mine to tell. And mine, in particular, is for another blog. But I was thankful to have this conversation with him.
We went on to talk about other social justice issues and it’s something that Michael would like to talk about his channel, but it’s definitely a triggering point for any audience. Like, when he said that he’s a person of color and Amberlynn doesn’t know what it’s like to be oppressed (I agree with him), but someone actually got upset with him and blew up at him, going, “Why would you say that?!” Michael went on to say that he’s mixed race and he knows that not all white people are racist and he’d like to talk about that, but he’s nervous. I understand considering the reaction he got before.
While we’re still on the topic, Amberlynn mentioned in a vlog that she would go back in time and stand up for Rosa Parks. Not only did Michael call her bluff, but so did everyone else in the Ambercon 2018 Livestream. I told Michael that I had Tweeted her and asked her if she did anything on behalf of those who take a knee or Black Lives Matter. Amberlynn said nothing. Michael wasn’t surprised at all. Race is an important issue that Michael would like to talk about more because he’s half black and was raised by his white grandparents, but he doesn’t want to stir up controversy. I hope he’s able to find a way to discuss it because it’s HIS Channel and he has every right to talk about what he wants to talk about.
I asked him about his future regarding both YouTube and his personal life. In regards to YouTube, Michael does want to react to different channels but not just because they happen to be fat. Michael gets requests all the time from people saying stuff like, “React to Amy Slaton, react to Tammy Slaton, etc.” Like I said before, Michael doesn’t dislike someone just because they’re fat, so why would he react to a person’s channel just because they’re overweight?
Personally, Michael is very close to his grandmother and wants to stay close to her and take care of her. Some people wonder why he doesn’t put her in a nursing home, but Michael wants to take care of her and love her until he’s not physically able to anymore because of everything she has done for him. I think that’s beautiful, and that’s how I feel about my Mom and Father-in-law.
As far as career’s go, Michael wants to be a nurse. Surgeries and changing patients’ casts don’t bother him. He said that he has an iron-clad stomach and that the reason why he wants to be a nurse is that so many nurses have been positive influences in his life and he wants to do the same for others.
When it comes to YouTube, this isn’t Michael’s long-term plan. Nursing is. I know we’ll all miss Michael, but he’s making the right move by doing what HE loves. Plus, there’s not a contract that you sign with YouTube that guarantees you a job. You could be making a full-time worker’s income one moment and be flat broke the next. I think Michael is being smart.
I asked Michael what charities he’s passionate about and he said The Desert AIDS Project. I learned through him that a lot of elderly members of the LGBTQ Community moved to Southern California because it’s warmer there and it’s better for their health since winter was too harsh on their already frail bodies.
I look forward to Michael’s future content as well as watching him broaden his reactions and finding a way to say what’s in his heart. Michael is a good person and I’m thankful that I got to know him. I hope to keep in touch with him, even when he gets off of YouTube.
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