@Spencewuah isn’t stepping out of the spotlight: ‘When people tell me I can’t, I then do’
by Ashlyn Robinette
Photos by Ervin Hadani
Spencer Hunt, the content creator known as their social media handle @spencewuah, is famous for their comedic skits, storytimes and “Daily Scream” videos. When we meet, it’s clear that their outgoing personality isn’t an act: Spencer hops onto their bed in front of a flower print tapestry, which serves as the backdrop for most of their viral videos, then suddenly asks for my zodiac sign. I answer that I’m a Sagittarius sun and moon, and a Virgo rising. Spencer smiles and says that they’re a Leo sun and rising, and a Virgo moon. “I like you already,” they tell me. We then bond over our big three, overachieving high school experiences and work in the media — and for a second, I forget that I’m in an interview. Though Spencer is a stranger, it feels like I’m FaceTiming an old best friend who I catch up with annually. We immediately click and I instantly understand why Spencer has over 11 million fans.
Spencer’s warm, humble demeanor is not what I would expect from someone with 11.2 million followers and 1.6 billion likes on TikTok alone. But even with a massive army of Generation Zs, Spencer is a simple theater kid at heart and is doing what every other 21-year-old is: Navigating adulthood, finding happiness and trying to leave their mark on the world. For Spencer, they’re impacting others through relatable, hilarious videos.
“Watching people on social media scream, cry, laugh — it’s always a very heartwarming experience because you get to experience those emotions vicariously through them,” Spencer says. “Even if you’re not experiencing those emotions in that moment, when you’re watching someone else going through something, you think, ‘I’ve been there. I know exactly how you feel.’”
Spencer’s rise has been fast: In 2019, they were a senior at Passaic County Technical Institute who was excelling in their School of Performing Arts curriculum while working as a Starbucks barista. All was going well until their theater teacher said they weren’t cut out for acting. Not because of a lack of talent, but because Spencer is gay and doesn’t fit the conventional masculine roles or beauty standards that are typically on screen. Not wanting to hear, “You’re not attractive enough for the lead role but you’re just mediocre enough to play the gay best friend who just so happens to be the comedic relief,” Spencer tried their hand at TikTok. That’s when one video series caught the attention of millions, leading to social media stardom and a move to Hollywood.
“Theater helped me realize that I wanted to do social media,” says the New Jersey native. “Don’t get me wrong, I love performing and entertaining others. However, if I’m going to be casted, I want it to be for my talent, not because I’m typecast. I want to make a career for myself that represents who I am entirely where I can be myself. So, I tried social media.”
After a terrible day at work, still in Starbucks’ signature green apron, Spencer got into their car, pulled out their phone and started filming on a whim. They began screaming into and pointing their finger at the camera, all while banging their head against the steering wheel and “ranting [their] ass off” about frustrating customers. Spencer hit “post” and within hours received nearly 20 million views on TikTok.
Following that successful post, Spencer decided to keep posting venting videos back to back. These became known as “The Daily Work Scream” until Spencer began posting scream-crying recaps about everyday annoyances outside of work, which led to the series being called “The Daily Scream.” What started as a small rant in the Starbucks parking lot evolved into a beloved series always preceded by its recognizable intro, “If you’re new, welcome. If you’re not new, then you know what fucking time it is. It’s time for the daily scream, bitch.”
“In the back of my mind, I always heard my theater teacher saying, ‘You’re never going to be a main character,’” Spencer says of their motivation to keep posting on social media. “When people tell me I can’t, I then do. I was like hell fucking no. I blew up on social media and started making revenue just from being myself rather than going into auditions and being casted not because of my talent, but because of how I look or act.”
Today, Spencer continues to post Daily Scream videos, among other videos that showcase their emotive personality. The impact of Spencer’s videos is undeniable. Though, not all responses have been positive.
In November 2020, conservative influencer and political commentator Candace Owens posted a video of Spencer screaming in a skirt on her Instagram story three times, with captions like “men who wear dresses are not mentally stable.” This led to a handful of her millions of followers DMing Spencer homophobic comments, death threats and messages to commit suicide. The worst of which being a video of a man being stoned in another country, accompanied by the message, “This should be you.”
“It was difficult because I would read these things and it would actually hurt my feelings, especially when that whole thing happened with Owens,” Spencer says.
Similarly, when Spencer first started increasing in popularity, there were people who hated them so much that they went out of their way to make fake tweets of Spencer saying racial slurs. As a result, Spencer was canceled until they were able to find proof of the person who made the fake tweets admitting to it on a Twitter thread.
Spencer eventually realized that haters were bringing them down because “watching someone else feel worse than you do makes you feel better.” Spencer continues to receive hate for being themself, but won’t change for haters or homophobes. Instead, Spencer serves as a queer and genderfluid public figure who lives authentically and inspires others to do the same.
“The minute I’m told, ‘You cannot do this,’ I’m like, ‘OK, now watch me do it,’” Spencer says.
Spencer moved to Hollywood in late December 2021. Even though it was hard leaving their single mother, Spencer has always wanted to live on the West coast. Adjusting to the people in California was also difficult because relationships feel “transactional.”
“It took me a while to navigate who was a real friend and who was just trying to benefit off of my platform,” they say.
No, literally me.
Despite the struggles that come with being an influencer, Spencer says that it’s all worth it because of the difference their videos have made on people’s lives.
“It feels amazing,” Spencer says. “It’s so weird when people comment or DM me and say, ‘You saved my life.’”
Spencer’s favorite fan experiences happened at VidCon meet-and-greets this June.
“I had multiple people sobbing to me saying that I had saved their lives and they were raised in homophobic households, and it wasn’t until they saw someone prominent on the internet who was both genderfluid and queer that they were like, ‘I’m comfortable being myself because this person is comforable being themselves in front of millions of people,’” Spencer says. “This one girl was sobbing in my arms and I looked at her, wiped her tears and said, ‘Babe, we’re at a meet-and-greet and we need to take a sexy photo. We don’t cry for homophobes, do we?’ She said, ‘No.’ I gave her a big hug and checked up on her later on at the event. It’s moments like those that I’m glad that I do what I do.”
Spencer plans to continue posting on social media and branch into other sectors of the entertainment industry. They’re also on a fast track to get their master’s degree in communications. Whatever else Spencer decides to do next, you can bet it will be main character worthy.
KEEP UP WITH SPENCER
Editors note: this whole shoot ate omfg. Big shoutout to Ervin, ash, and Spencer.