Disney musician Pogo celebrated Pulse massacre because he ‘hates faggots’
Fans of an Australian YouTube star known for his Disney remixes have expressed shock and dismay after a video emerged of him celebrating the murders of gay people.
Australian electronic musician Nick Bertke, known by his username Pogo, has more than 700,000 subscribers on YouTube and has received hundreds of millions of views with his musical covers, remixes and mash-ups.
But the 29-year-old has been condemned by his fellow YouTube creators and his own fanbase – after a video emerged of him espousing extremely homophobic beliefs.
The clip from two years ago, which appears to have been deleted from Bertke’s channel but re-uploaded by a third party, was apparently made when he was creating content under the channel name ‘Fagottron’.
In the video he says: “I get a question all the time… why did you call your YouTube channel Fagottron?
“I’m going to be totally straight up with you… I came up with Fagottron because I’ve always had a very thorough dislike of homosexuals.
“I’ve never liked a grown man acting like a 12-year-old girl. I’ve always found that to be quite disgusting.
“I thought to myself, how best can I express to the world that gays are, just, an abomination?”
Bertke added: “I thought, well, we like to call gays fags or faggots… I think nothing encapsulates the sissiness of a guy quite like the word ‘faggot’.
“I thought, I’m going to call myself Fagottron.”
He added: “I have a fairly robust resentment of the gay community.
“I don’t want to really get into this, but when there was the Orlando shooting and the guy was shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ or something I was like [fist pump in celebration].
“I’ve got to be a bit careful with that because well, you know, I don’t like gays, but I don’t want to see people getting killed in nightclubs either. But still, I mean, it’s just fantastic.
“It amazes me to see the West welcoming in a culture through the floodgates that wants gays dead. [laughter] Amazing.”
According to Pogo’s website, he has previously had brand deals with Pixar and Walt Disney Pictures, the Pokemon Company and Nickelodeon.
The clip has led thousands to unsubscribe from the star and express their total revulsion to his views.
Drag Race star Jinkx Monsoon quipped: “Hi! My name is @NickBertke! I remix Disney movies into music and even though 90% of my audience is queer, I’ve decided to go on record that ‘I hate faggots’ cuz, you know. I don’t actually want a career.”
“@NickBertke, good luck selling your music without the queer community. It’s 2018. Wake up asshole.”
Glee’s Kevin McHale added: “This, ladies & gents, is what fear, ignorance and cowardice looks like. You’re a sad sad pathetic little boy, @NickBertke. Hey, @YouTube, ban this shit head.”
Bertke has previously expressed his admiration for Donald Trump and has been linked to the ‘alt-right’ online.
But in a subsequent video uploaded last night (May 31) after the clip began to circulate, he attempted to claim that the clip was all a joke to wind people up.
He said: “Fagottron is an alias I chose as a stupid teenager in 2005 [YouTube did not launch until 2006] when I was trying to entertain my friends with vlogs. Where we grew up, a faggot was a dickhead, sexuality didn’t enter into that term.
“As I’ve grown up I’ve become aware of more social and political movements… there is a culture of people who demand safe spaces and trigger warnings. I can’t stand that kind of person.
“The way I draw that kind of person out into the open is to write and say things that I know will grind their gears.”
He adds: “The things I said in this video have deserved the reception this has had… I took it a little bit too far.
“It’s one of the instance in which there is no pinch of salt big enough to be taken with what I have said.
“I feel very strongly it’s been very naive behaviour on my part. If I’m going to admit anything, it’s that these videos I made for the sake of being edgy have not contributed to any productive conversation.”
Bertke continued: “Apparently I hate gay people… many of my friends and supporters are gay, including my friend Val, so there’s definitely a degree of irony.
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“I want to just say that if you have ended up contemplating suicide because of something I’ve said, I am deeply sorry for that. It has never been my intention to hurt people or offend people.
“My intention has always been to entertain, to make people think and create discussion. To get the better of certain social movements and cultures that I don’t like.”
His “non-apology” was dragged by fans.
One wrote: “Invoking a tragedy like Pulse for the sake of getting a rise out of people? That’s its own kind of evil. Sure, maybe you ruffle the feathers of someone who deserves to be disturbed, but you have an audience – you have reach.
“So many others are subjected to the things you say. Vulnerable people. Young people.
“You leveraged shock by standing on corpses and sorrow. The people you mostly got a rise out of are the ones who constantly fear persecution and death because of who they are attracted to.”
Another pointed out: “I didn’t hear you unequivocally disavow the words you used in that video, or say that you have no hatred or resentment toward gay people – you only said that you have many gay fans and friends and sort of left it at that. Obviously, you can have gay fans while still harbouring disgust toward them and opposing equal rights for them.”