Popular YouTuber The Ace Family are controversy by featuring infamous R&B singer Chris Brown at their second Ace Family Basketball Charity Event at the Staples Center. Austin McBroom — the “A” in the “Ace” family and a former college basketball player — will compete with Chris Brown in a head-to-head basketball game. Brown’s violent history, including, most notoriously, hitting his former girlfriend Rihanna, will no doubt only bring more exposure to the already high-profile event.
Similar to last year, this year’s Ace Family fundraiser it includes a three-point shootout and a 5-on-5 basketball game featuring other influencers and celebrities. Last year’s event was held at the USC Galen Centre, and sold out immediately. Austin wanted this year’s event to be “bigger and better.” The Staples Centre holds 21,000 seats and when the tickets went on sale on June 1, they again sold out in only one second.
Austin McBroom is engaged to the Instagram model, Catherine Piaz. They have two beautiful daughters named Elle Lively and Alaia Marie. Altogether, they are known to their YouTube viewers as The Ace Family. Based in Los Angeles, they upload weekly videos to their YouTube channel consisting of pranks, family life and challenges. They started their channel in 2016 and became very well-known for the pranks that they would play on each other. Their once humble, small channel has now turned into an empire of 16 million subscribers. They refer to their fan base as the “Ace Family members” and create the sense of having a close bond with them.
This past February they uploaded a series to YouTube called “The Real Life of the Ace Family,” detailing their growth from 300,000 to 1 million subscribers and now to their present subscription-count of 16 million. The couple found that their fame was starting to get out of control. “You really have to be mentally strong to do what we do,” McBroom stated. He expresses the frustration in having a job where your entire life is exposed to the public. “It can be stressful sometimes because we want to feel safe, we want to feel at home, but we have to film in our home because our home is our office,” Piaz added.
While they seem to love sharing their lives on YouTube, it has caused some problems such as the mysterious man who appeared in front of their house one night yelling that they needed to move all of their cars off of the street. Austin was confused because they never had security in their community. “Instantly, I knew something was wrong” stated Austin. After an assistant moved the cars, the man returned and demanded that Austin not hiding behind the doors and to show his face. This is when Austin and Catherine knew that their security had to be up to par to keep their family safe. But despite the exposure that their public life brings, they stayed positive and continued to upload content.
Their videos can be both funny and uplifting. With mental health being a significant issue in today’s social media obsessed society, Austin and Catherine have shared their personal struggles with anxiety and depression with all of their fans. After struggling to have a second child after almost a year of trying and by receiving plenty of hate across all of their social network platforms, they both have experienced mental illness. By sharing private and relatable stories with the world, their fans can develop a sense of trust and can even be relieved of certain mental health symptoms by knowing that they’re not alone. Their fans see their videos as rays of sunshine in a world filled with negativity and hate.
So, why did The Ace Family choose a celebrity with such a chequered past to be their guest? There are plenty of other YouTubers that would’ve loved to collaborate with them or be featured at the event. But perhaps Chris Brown, who has both star power and the power to induce massive outline outrage, is uniquely well suited to raise the profile of the event, which providing a helpful contrast to McBroom, who has fended off his own share of controversy, from insensitive tweets to an in-bad-taste-at-best trip to an adult stores with an underage girl. Ironically, the much-worse Chris Brown may be just the celebrity to help bolster the positive and squeaky clean image that the Ace Family exudes on their happy and optimistic YouTube channel.