Sorry Pogo, but there's no room for homophobia in 2018
"How best can I express to the world that gays are just an abomination?," he says in a recent video, where he also celebrates the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting.
CW: This story contains quotes and themes that may distress LGBT+ readers. Qlife - a mental health hotline and resource database for LGBT+ persons, is available HERE in the case of need.
Chances are you might’ve come across the works of Pogo online. The Perth-raised musician, real name Nick Bertke, is internationally admired for his expansive mash-ups of Disney/Pixar films, where he pairs well-known footage from these films with his own, spiralling productions. His videos have over 160 million cumulative views and he boasts over 700,000 subscribers, spread pretty much everywhere around the world. He's been hired by Pixar to officially rework films like Up and Toy Story, commissioned to remix themes from Spongebob and Dexter, and also picked up by even the Pokémon Company back in 2013.
There's also a slight chance that you might have come across his less-viral, often controversial political videos too. He's written blog posts about feminism (which you guessed it, is not a very good take), envying women (where he argues "you [women] have a lot more privileges than men, and you have a pass through life that us gents can only dream of."), and even posted videos defending himself after these posts caught international attention. In one, titled "Why I Don't Take Feminism Seriously", he goes on an almost-four-minute rant about how "women want to be manned around" and how "women crave drama." "They need to stretch their emotions, to release and resolve. I look at feminism with all of its illogical arguments, self-defeating philosophies, and double-standards, and I’m hard-pressed to view it as anything more than a tantrum," he says in the video.
He's also joined men's rights activist Tommy Sotomayor on his show, where the pair discuss women's rights (negatively, believe it or not), Islam, transgender rights, Black Lives Matter, and share acclaim for Milo Yiannopoulos and Donald Trump. They also argue that hate speech and hate crimes don't exist - seriously. "I don’t want to make massive generalisation or anything, but I think female accountability is a myth," he says in a quote taken from his appearance on the show. "I think under the banner of feminism, females will never be held accountable for anything. You should not critique a woman unless you are prepared for the consequences."
Now, in a time where we would think that this whole belief system would be behind us, we're sad to say that it is unfortunately not. The musician has come under fire once again for a 2016 video (now uploaded to an archived YouTube not operated by Pogo) where he explains his hatred for gay people, and it's incredibly messy. Titled "Why I called my channel F*ggottron," Pogo goes on a rant about his severe hatred for homosexuals which gets remarkably distasteful fast. "I’ve always had a very thorough dislike of homosexuals," he says in the clip. "I’ve never liked a grown man acting like a 12-year-old girl. I’ve always found that to be quite disgusting. And so I thought to myself, how best can I express to the world that gays are just an abomination?"
"I think nothing encapsulates the sissiness of a guy quite like the word ‘f*ggot’" he continues. "I have a fairly robust resentment of the gay community."
He then continues his tirade, discussing the terrorist attack on Orlando gay nightclub Pulse in 2016, where 49 people were killed and a further 53 were injured. Warning: this is where the comments get particularly horrific. "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 *pumps fist*," he actions, apparently showing his approval of the mass shooting where many of the dead and wounded were LGBT+.
He's since followed it up with an official 'apology' video this week, in which he sorta dodges the problem and doesn't actually apologise at all. Instead, he pulls the classic "I met a gay person once and therefore I'm not homophobic!" argument which we all know is about as lazy as they come, before launching into this strange tangent about PC culture and the left. He also mentions the fact that when he grew up in his surroundings, the gay slur was used as a synonym for "dickhead", but as someone who's grown up in Perth and is familiar with the exact surroundings he's from, it's pretty full of crap. It's always been a homophobic slur mate, and even if it wasn't, when you updated the name of your channel to this name you knew damn well what the word meant.
There's no place for this bullshit in 2018, especially in a scene (music) considered a safe-haven by so many queer Australians.
Do better, Pogo. It's 2018 for fucks sake.