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Should It Matter If YouTube's Massively Popular Disney Collector Used to Make Porn?

Parents (including porn stars) say probably not

The hands of the enigmatic Disney Collector are all viewers have seen of her. Photo: YouTube

If you have a young child who watches YouTube videos, chances are you've stumbled across YouTube's Disney Collector, the mysterious woman who spends 10 to 15 minutes unboxing toys.

Despite never showing her face or revealing her name, she's managed to captivate a generation of youth. With more than 5.3 billion views on her clips, she's been estimated to earn anywhere between $1.3 million and $20.1 million a year from advertising on her channel, according to YouTube analytics site SocialBlade.

Since Disney Collector became a streaming-video sensation, several publications have tried (and failed) to uncover her identity. But now Britain's Daily Mail says it has determined, by talking to former neighbors and acquaintances, that the woman behind the channel is Daiane DeJesus, a former porn actress who performed under the name Susan Summers. She last acted in an adult film seven years ago.

If it's true that one of the Internet's most popular content creators for children is a former adult-film star, should it matter to parents whose kids love the Disney Collector clips?

While DeJesus' old job may have been for adult eyes only, Disney Collector's YouTube videos are extremely G-rated. We asked parents, including some former porn stars, to weigh in on whether the video creator's background should really factor into the decision of whether to let kids watch the clips.

Christy Canyon, former porn star and current Vivid Radio host, said parents shouldn't keep their children away from the content because of the creator's alleged past career.

"[My kids] have heard me talk about Disney toys, and I've been a porn star," Canyon told Adweek.  "I don't see the connection at all. There's nothing sexual in those videos. What is the other side of the argument? That people who have had sex in their lives can't be trusted around children?"

Adweek asked Type-A Parent CEO Kelby Carr to pose the question to her large audience of moms and dads on Facebook, and parents largely said they had no problem with Disney Collector's reported background.

"My kids love watching these shows on YouTube. I couldn't care less that the voice could be that of an adult film star," said Tracy Kistler, who writes a blog called The Uncoordinated Mommy. "That does not affect the moral character of my children in any way. Mostly I love how these YouTube videos help my children play with their toys in new creative ways. I have seen a huge growth in their creativity since watching them and see no reason to stop them."

Chris Baccus, a parent and executive at PR firm Golin, said 

"Just because someone was a former porn star doesn't mean they can't do any kid content," Baccus wrote on Facebook, "especially when it's unboxing videos that are toy demo videos with kid-friendly language."

However, some parents did bring up concerns that inquisitive children might start searching on the Internet for more Disney Collector videos, stumble upon DeJesus' name and then inadvertently find her porn videos.

"As the co-founder of the only COPPA-compliant video site for kids, I think the big problem is where the kids go after that video, and the crazy rabbit hole that YouTube presents to kids who start out in one place but end up in another," said Rebecca Levey, co-founder of KidzVuz.com.

Retired porn star Nicki Hunter, who's also a mother, said curiosity is part of human nature, and though she's not thrilled at the idea, chances are her children have stumbled on sexual content online—even if they're not part of the Disney Collector audience. Canyon added the issue highlights the importance of parental involvement in both monitoring what kids watch and explaining the things they may accidentally come across.

"As a mother I try to give my kids facts, knowledge, confidence, stability and morality, because the way to deal with any of these sorts of issues is proactively and preemptively," Canyon said. "I deal with this issue by preparing my kids for life."

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