Neistat wins British GQ New Media Star award

Ledyard native Casey Neistat, shown in 2013 on Bank Street in New London, received the New Media Start trophy during the British GQ 2016 Men of the Year Awards Wednesday. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
Ledyard native Casey Neistat, shown in 2013 on Bank Street in New London, received the New Media Start trophy during the British GQ 2016 Men of the Year Awards Wednesday. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

There’s an argument to be made that southeastern Connecticut has a legitimate claim as the New Media capital of the world. At least for a week or so. After all, on Wednesday, Ledyard native Casey Neistat, who lives in New York City but owns a home in New London, was announced one of British GQ’s 2016 Men of the Year at the magazine’s annual ceremony in London.

Specifically, Neistat was awarded their New Media Star trophy. Among the other 21 winners were Ricky Gervais (Genius of the Year), Amy Schumer (Woman of the Year), Sir Michael Caine (Legend of the Year), Chris Pine (International Man of the Year), and Aidan Turner (Television Actor of the Year).

After earning national attention for his creative YouTube videos, Neistat began posting a daily vlog with over a million subscribers. Along with Matt Hackett, Neistat also developed the cutting-edge Beme video-sharing app.

In accepting, Neistat thanked his 12-year-old son, Owen, whose by-chance remark — that kids his age don’t watch TV anymore — spurred dad to explore the possibilities of new media.

Neistat, in transit from England to Australia for a speaking engagement, couldn’t be reached for comment.

His father, Barry Neistat, who co-owns New London’s Muddy Waters Cafe, says, “I can’t believe it. He told me he was flying to London to go to a GQ function, but I didn’t think much about it. He’s always flying off somewhere. Later, he told me he had no idea he was going to win anything. I’m proud of him. GQ is another level. I don’t know — he just seems to know his audience and how to communicate with them."

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