Accidental Internet celebrity Antoine Dodson tells ABC News that, although his sister’s attacker is still on the loose, he’s made made a "nice amount of money" off of the infamous "bed intruder" YouTube meme. "Enough to move my family from the projects," he says.
Dodson became a Web star after an interview he gave to a local Alabama television station went viral. The interview is part of a news report on the attempted rape of his sister. In the video (scroll down to watch), an emotional Dodson launches into an animated speech, declaring, "Hide your kids, hide your wife, hide your husbands, they’re raping everybody out here!" Within the first week that the video was online, several parodies appeared. Some had deeply disturbing racial undertones, while others were surprisingly talented musical odes. Even the North Carolina A&T University‘s marching band has gotten in the mix.
Indeed, Dodson’s proven to be quite the entrepreneur since the video featuring his now-famous interview hit the Web. Dodson’s already started his own website, where he asks for donations to help his family. He’s also got a new Twitter account, along with a Facebook page where he sells "Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife" t-shirts. So far, that Facebook page has collected over 80,000 followers. Dodson also posts video diaries on YouTube for fans, where he answers their questions.
In an interview with Wired, Even and Michael Gregory, the brothers credited with helping Dodson go viral by producing the first successful musical riff on his rant, describe "Bed Intruder" as no ordinary Internet meme. Rather, they say, it’s music. And profitable, potentially industry-changing music, at that:
We’re really breaking ‘unintentional singing’ ground, so we’re trying to set precedents by making it so that Antoine, or whoever that artist might be in the future, has a stake not only as an artist but as a co-author of the song. It’s like you said: He wrote the lyrics, he’s the one who put it out there. What we’re doing on iTunes and on any other sales, we’re splitting the revenue after it gets through Apple down the middle.
They maintain that Dodson receives a 50/50 split in all revenue that’s being generated. In the end, whether Antoine Dodson has the final say or not, you can’t knock the hustle. Or can you?
Here’s the video that started it all: