Indonesian YouTuber Ria Ricis said to have donated AdSense money amid accusations of monetizing father’s death

Indonesian YouTuber Ria Ricis is under public scrutiny for allegedly exploiting her father’s death through a series of videos, where she kept the ads running.  Screenshot from YouTube/Ricis Official
Indonesian YouTuber Ria Ricis is under public scrutiny for allegedly exploiting her father’s death through a series of videos, where she kept the ads running. Screenshot from YouTube/Ricis Official

Indonesian YouTuber Ria Ricis may be known for over-sensationalized vlogs, but this time she’s under public scrutiny for allegedly exploiting her father’s death through a series of videos, where she kept the ads running. 

Ria’s father, Sulyanto, passed away last Friday while she was climbing a mountain in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) for a promotional job. With her phone service out during the climb, she only heard the news about her father’s passing when she came back down. Ria was therefore unable to attend her father’s funeral and only managed to visit his grave when she returned to Jakarta the next day, which she documented in a video titled Rumah Baru Papa (Papa’s New House).

At the time of writing, there are at least nine videos related to the topic on her channel, including two that Ria uploaded on Saturday and another four the next day, which shows her reminiscing about Sulyanto with her family. It’s not just the videos that have become the talk around town, as it became apparent that Ria also kept the ads on, thus sparking accusations that she was earning AdSense money from a deeply private experience. 

Many netizens likened Ria to YouTuber Atta Halilintar, who recently received flak for allegedly commercializing his wife’s miscarriage, while also comparing her to her elder sister, actress and self-proclaimed cleric Oki Setiana Dewi, who documented their father’s funeral on her YouTube channel but without AdSense.

Following the controversy, Oki’s husband Ory Vitri has come in Ria’s defense, claiming that his sister-in-law often donates the money she earned from YouTube.

“There are many people [accusing] @riaricis1795 for [making content] out of her father’s death… Calm down, the AdSense [money is donated to] a boarding school for people who memorize the Quran. For every income that’s received by the management, 10 percent or even more is donated to the ahlul quran (people who live by the Quran),” Ory said, adding that Ria also often makes donations in secret.

Ory then wished for the public to pray for Sulyanto as their family is still mourning his passing. 

Born Ria Yunita, the 25-year-old YouTuber is mostly famous among the younger generations in Indonesia for her daily vlogs, pranks, and collaborations with other vloggers or celebrities. Ria, who currently has over 25,7 million subscribers, often makes national headlines for the shenanigans she gets to in her videos, though she was embroiled in a controversy during the onset of COVID-19 pandemic last year for allegedly going ahead with a video shoot despite the government’s social distancing advisory.

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