YouTuber Banned Over Viral $2 Empanada Tantrum Says His Apology Was Fake

Self-proclaimed influencer Borja Escalona said he wasn't sorry, promised to be “10 times worse” on new YouTube channels after his video outraged Spain.

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Spanish influencer Borja Escalona pretends to blow his nose on camera.
According to Escalona, his entire 8-minute apology in response to the empanada incident was a sham.
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo

A Spanish YouTuber who fell from grace—although it’s doubtful that a man who hospitalized a stranger with an electric shaver ever had grace—wants you to know that his 8-minute apology video was fake. Borja Escalona had enraged much of Spain after threatening a server for declining to give him a $2 empanada for free while he livestreamed himself.

After posting the ‘woe-is-me’ apology video on Monday—the same day YouTube terminated his channel over the empanada incident—Escalona, a self-proclaimed influencer, apparently uploaded another 2-minute video. In the second, shorter video, which was reportedly published on Monday after the 8-minute apology, Escalona reiterated that he didn’t think he deserved all the hate he was receiving. He has defended himself by saying that the entire incident was planned with the bar in question, A Tapa do Barril, a bar in the city of Vigo in northern Spain, something the owner denies. However, after theatrically blowing his nose, Escalona states that he couldn’t maintain the “stupid act” of seeming sorry much longer.

He “couldn’t contain his laughter,” he said. Going on, Escalona explained that although he blamed the audience for getting his YouTube channel taken down, he wasn’t fazed by what had happened. In fact, he said, he already had another YouTube channel taken down in 2021, and boasted that it purportedly only took him 10 months to get his recent channel (the one taken down on Monday) to 36,000 subscribers.

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“My name is viral in this country. Whatever shit I do, post, or say is going to rise like foam,” Escalona said in the video in Spanish, according to the copy saved by local outlet 20minutos and posted to Twitter. “Now, I’m going to start a channel from scratch and I’m going to make it explode. I’m going to continue to be amazing and I’m going to continue to do the things I used to do, but worse. Now I’m going to multiply them by 10.” Tracking down all of the videos Escalona published this week has been tricky because there are few copies out there, and the ones available are often incomplete.

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Gizmodo reached out to YouTube on Wednesday to ask why the platform had reportedly taken 10 months to take down Escalona’s channel again. Attempting to set up a new channel to avoid a suspension is against YouTube’s terms of service and was one of the reasons Escalona was banned, the company previously told Gizmodo.

The influencer goes on to thank his audience for giving him another goal to pursue because life had begun to bore him. He also informs the audience that the name “Borja Escalona” is now a registered brand and it’s taking off.

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“It’s time to work. I have an awesome community manager and we already have another channel up and running,” Escalona said. YouTube on Monday told Gizmodo that it had already taken down the new channels Escalona created since his ban. Judging by the influencer’s determination, it seems like YouTube may be in for a long game of whack-a-mole.

“The fandom is there, the fanbase is there, the haters are there. I have a group of haters that is going to follow me wherever I go,” the influencer said.

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As of Wednesday afternoon, Gizmodo was unable to find any new channels for Escalona on YouTube. Twitch also took down the influencer’s channel this week, citing a violation of its community guidelines or terms of service.

Adding further insult to injury, Escalona begins eating a typical Spanish snack known as torreznos, or thick strips of fried bacon or pork belly.

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“By the way, I’m eating some torreznos that a restaurant gave me this morning. Free food,” he said.

The jab is a reference to the incident that got him kicked off YouTube (again) and made him one of the most ridiculed people in Spain. Last week, Escalona demanded that a worker at A Tapa do Barril give him an empanadilla for free because he had featured the bar and eaten the food on camera in his YouTube livestream. The worker declined, saying that she wasn’t the boss, and told him to pay €2.30 (or about $2.35) for the food.

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Escalona ending up paying up, but not before showing his displeasure on the livestream. Before leaving, he told the employee that the bar would be receiving a €2.500 (roughly $2,540) invoice for the promotion he had done for it on YouTube. The employee pushed back, saying he was threatening her and putting her job in danger. In the video, Escalona is seen giddy and enjoying the employee’s dismay, claiming he was not threatening her.

“Is that a threat? I think that’s an explanation. It’s part of the negotiation with the company,” he said, despite the fact that no promotion was agreed upon beforehand, according to Barril’s owner.

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As a result, Escalona’s fans swarmed to rate A Tapa do Barril with one-star reviews on Google, some of them explicitly citing his name as the reason for their review. The bar also received dozens of insulting calls from Escalona’s fans. Gizmodo asked Google on Monday if it would take any action on the one-star reviews but did not receive a response. On Wednesday, however, the majority of the bad reviews from Escalona’s fans appeared to be gone.

Before you begin to doubt in humanity, there is a flicker of light in this entire incident. On Tuesday, Ana Terzado, owner of A Tapa do Barril, thanked Escalona on television for the gift he had given her, referencing the outpouring of support the bar has received from the Spanish public. Terzado has said that she is willing to report Escalona to the police.

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“I never imagined that people loved our team so much,” she said, adding that the bar had received support from other restaurants and bars as well as from its suppliers.