Reaction videos became very popular with the rise of YouTube. Gross out or viral videos would be watched by a YouTuber, who would be recorded reacting to the video.
These videos have been around long before the Fine Bros made a well known focused and professional reaction video series. The Fine Bros Entertainment YouTube series has a variety of content, but they’re best known for their react YouTube series.
The React series started in October 2010 with “Kids React to Viral Videos.” In the years following added sections included Teens React, Elders React, Youtubers React, and Adults React.
While most of the videos are humorous, with kids reacting to old technology / videos and elders mostly reacting to new viral videos, they have shown some serious reaction videos as well, like the video of kids reacting to the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death.
The Fine Brothers upset viewers for trying to trademark “react” in 2015 which was a word used by many other YouTubers. The Fine Brothers have pointed out In their “update” video they didn’t want to make it impossible to make react videos.
“We were never trying to say that every video in which somebody reacts to something else is something we would try to control and when we referenced licensing the ‘react’ format we only meant our specific series, not the overall genre,” said Benny Fine, one of the two brothers of the franchise.
People have voiced their frustration about the trademark, saying that the idea existed long before the Fine Bros began creating content. Ellen Degeneres made a video called “Ellen Introduces Kids to the Technology of Yesterday” which the Fine Bros criticized, which created a sense of growing distrust with the Fine Bros.
“People still do it anyway,” says Sari Josephberg, an avid YouTube watcher of the Kids React series. She also pointed out that some of the Fine Bros videos looked completely staged.
The Fine Bros posted a heartwarming video saying that everyone can now create react content in a legal way and even get promoted by the Fine Bros — the catch being that they get some of your revenue for a YouTube genre that originally had no issue.
The YouTubers have fought back with response videos, comments, disliking the videos, and unsubscribing from the React Channel, losing 115,000 subscribers from their main channel in one day.
Unfortunately for the Fine Bros their “Update” video didn’t help the criticisms from fans and YouTubers.