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Who is "Politizane" and What's Next for the Income Inequality Viral Video

by Anthony Kaufman
May 15, 2013 12:56 PM
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I'm a little late to pseudonymous filmmaker Politizane's viral income inequality video, which peaked in March and has now ratcheted up more than 6 million views on YouTube. Thanks to Errol Morris's Twitter feed, I finally caught up to the vide, and I can see why this powerful but simple use of digital tools coupled with some solid and alarming facts has made such powerful waves in cyberspace. But who made it? And will he strike again?

income inequality

According to a report at Mother Jones, "Politizane" or "Z," as he signed his messages, said he is a freelance filmmaker "living and working in a red state (Texas)," and staying anonymous in order avoid losing work due to "a vague political affiliation."

The video is based on a chart that was created by Mother Jones based on polling data put together by Dan Ariely and Michael L. Norton, which illustrates Americans' mistaken expectations of wealth distribution vs the harsh realities (see pictured). For the video, Z visualized the disparity with the use of After Effects.

According to Mother Jones, the video, "Wealth Inequality in America," (see below), is his only politically minded video so far. "These issues are simply things I think (and perhaps angst) about in my spare time," Z wrote. "The really incredible thing for me is the simple fact that people are now talking about these issues…So it's pretty neat to open some eyes and get people thinking."

With the breathtaking success of the video--consider that more people have watched it than Oscar winner "Inside Job" and Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" put together--Politizane should be compelled to make another one. And if not he, the popularity of the piece might incite other like-minded creatives to do the same.

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  • Tiffany | October 29, 2013 12:35 AMReply

    I think I know who Politizane is! We homeschool and use a program called Teaching Textbooks, and when my kids heard the voice on this video they said THAT"S ONE OF THE BROTHERS FROM OUR MATH! The brothers went to school? at, YOU GUESSED IT, Harvard! Their names are Greg and Shawn Sabouri and I DO believe that one of them is the narrator of this video.

  • James | June 16, 2014 7:26 PM

    So what?
    And why do you feel compelled to out this person. They clearly want to remain anonymous! Your a jerk!
    And I don't care if they went to Harvard.

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