The Chaotic Breakdown of ‘Frenemies,’ 2020's Messiest Podcast
This could have been Trisha Paytas’s year. She started a relationship, gained notoriety on TikTok, and co-launched a podcast that regularly receives over a million views on YouTube. But it’s now unclear where Frenemies—the podcast starring Paytas and H3’s Ethan Klein, launched in September—stands after a disastrous December 10 episode in which Paytas stormed out following an argument with Klein. Paytas and Klein have been sniping back and forth in videos on their separate channels ever since, leaving fans divided and the fate of the production in limbo.
This was not Payta’s first dramatic Frenemies exit, and is not out of character for a podcast that grew out of the drama between its two hosts. Klein and Paytas first tangled publicly in May 2019, when Klien called the YouTuber out for Photoshopping. A series of response videos later, Paytas, Klein, and Klein’s wife Hila Klein buried the hatchet on an October 2019 episode of the H3 Podcast.
Paytas then became a (contentious) friend of the pod. But after a Bachelorette-themed episode in early 2020, Paytas began dating Hila’s brother, Moses, to the chagrin of his family. That inspired the launch of Frenemies, which plays off the somewhat tense and dysfunctional dynamic between the hosts, and also caused its downfall. Paytas stormed out after Klein told her that they were not allowed to talk about his wife or family on the podcast.
“Can we have Hila as a guest on our podcast?” Paytas asks in the recent episode. “People think I hate her or she doesn’t like me...I like Hila.” Klein shuts down the suggestion.
“Don’t talk about Hila,” he says. “We’re cutting this part out. She doesn’t want to be talked about."
The dispute escalates over Paytas’s frequent public comments about issues between Hila and Moses. Paytas, in turn, takes issue with her personal life being fair game to criticize on the podcast while theirs are not. Paytas says Moses doesn’t like the his sister and brother and law, criticizes their parenting, and calls Hila a “fucking bitch” on the way out the door.
Paytas also stormed out of taping of the October 13 episode of the podcast after Klein called her “crazy.” Paytas says that incident and the latest one were “episodes” stemming from Borderline Personality Disorder, which she has been open about being diagnosed with.
After Paytas storms out of the most recent podcast, Klein stays on, and says he understands that her disorder causes her to say things she doesn’t mean. On a live episode of H3 After Dark, Ethan Klein said the pair talked after and apologized, and that Paytas gave him permission to upload the episode in full. But while streaming H3 After Dark, Paytas uploaded a video titled “why I quit frenemies” and pinned a comment calling the Kleins “toxic.” Still on air, the Kleins grappled in real time with the fact that things were apparently not resolved, after all. Later, while they were still live streaming, Paytas uploaded another video titled “so done with h3 and their HYPOCRISY AND LIES.”
On Sunday, Paytas uploaded a final video on the matter, this one over an hour. In it, she maintains that she’s held to a double standard in terms of whose personal lives can be talked about on the podcast, and also claims that Klein purposely triggers her. She makes references to their next planned recording, in which Dr. Drew was scheduled as a return guest, but implies she’s no longer interested in participating.
Still, it would not be surprising to find Paytas back at the Frenemies table this week. The podcast is very much about the contentious relationship between the hosts, and despite their sparring, the two seem to have developed a genuine affection for one another. Neither of the Kleins have issued any update since their H3 After Dark episode, but if there was ever a time that Dr. Drew’s mediation was needed most, it’s now.