Over two days, the thesp has racked up more clicks for a video in which he announced he is gay than for any he has posted in more than five months.
Nebraska native parlayed his YouTube character Fred Figglehorn — beset with a whiny, high-pitched voice — into TV success with series of Nickelodeon shows and movies. His activity on YouTube waned over that period, but now he’s back with a biweekly series on YouTube with his pal Jennifer Veal, British actress who has recurring role on Disney Channel’s “Jessie.”
His video posted Tuesday now has more than 1.1 million views. It is on track to be the biggest hit he’s had on YouTube in four years with the exception of a March 2013 clip that has 1.49 million views:
“I’m gay… My family and friends have known this for like three years,” 19-year-old Cruikshank said in the YouTube video. “I just never have felt the need to announce it on the Internet.”
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In the clip, Cruikshank notes societal double-standards on sexual orientation, asking Veal, “How come you don’t have to make a video saying you’re straight?”
Cruikshank, now based in L.A., began making Fred videos when he was 13. That got the attention of Viacom’s Nickelodeon, which executed several projects with him including 20-ep “Fred: The Show” series that aired last year; three Fred movies; as well as “Marvin Marvin,” in which he played an alien adjusting to life on Earth.
Topic of homosexuality has been in the cultural zeitgeist, with recent attention on Russia’s new anti-LGBT laws. On Wednesday, “Prison Break” star Wentworth Miller announced he was gay in a letter to the St. Petersburg International Film Fest, informing group he was declining to participate because of the country’s crackdown on gay and lesbian community.