Aussie Remix YouTuber Slammed After Homophobic 'Satire'

A video of a electronic musician popular for remixing songs and samples from Disney films, Nick "Pogo" Bertke, has sparked controversy after it showed the producer talking about the reasons why he named his YouTube channel "Fagottron". Bertke would later post a second video, explaining that his "very thorough dislike" of the gay and lesbian community and description of them as abominable was "satire" and that he'd been naive.

Bertke is one of the larger YouTubers in Australia, with over 700,000 subscribers and many viral mashup videos over the last decade. His most famous videos include remixed clips of Alice in Wonderland, with 21.7 million views on "Alice" and over 15 million views on "Wishery". Only a handful of new mixes have been uploaded over the last year, but he's continued to tour and work with studios and agencies. Some of that work has included appearing at Vivid Sydney last year, as well as making remixes for Disney and The Pokemon Company.

Earlier this week, a video appeared on the Bertke Archives YouTube account, as first reported by Towlerload and then the Star Observer. The vlog features Bertke answering a question: why he named his main YouTube channel "Fagottron".

In the video, the West Australian producer describes that it was borne out of resentment for the gay and lesbian community. "I'm going to be totally straight up and down ... I came up with 'Fagottron' because I've always had a very thorough dislike of homosexuals," Bertke says.

Update 2/6/2018: The video has since been removed from YouTube.

"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 an abomination?' Or to be a bit more PC about it, how can I express to the world that I view gays as an abomination?"

The vlog finishes with the musician and producer saying "it's just fantastic; it amazes me to see the West actually welcoming in a culture through the floodgates that wants gays dead, I think that's fantastic."

After the video began to disseminate throughout social networks and media reports, Bertke posted a following video "Addressing Controversy". He went on to describe the above video as satire, explaining that many of his supporters were gay and that if "you or one of your friends have ended up in a bathtub, thinking and thinking until the water gets cold contemplating suicide because of something I've said in a blog or video, I'm deeply sorry for that".

In the video above, the Aussie producer described telling a Disney director that his YouTube channel was called 'Fagottron' because he chose a "stupid alias in 2005". "Where we grew up, fag or faggot was a variant of dickhead, or twat, or a prick. Sexuality doesn't enter into that term, or at least it didn't when and where I grew up. So tail between my legs moment, I'll never forget it."

"The things I've said in this video have deserved the reception that the video has had. I had recently watched a whole bunch of Andy Kaufman videos and I was amazed by this guy's completely dumbfound people. ... I love confusing people," the producer explained.

"It's one of the instances where there is no pinch of salt big enough to be taken with what I have said, it's all good and well for me to open a valve and to draw people out into the open, people I don't like etc ... but I feel very strongly it's been very naive behaviour on my part."

Bertke went on to quote a range of favoured conservative speakers and figures, including Ben Shapiro, Joe Rogan, and Jordan Peterson, saying he could only "hope to become like one day". "My naivety over the years has been underestimating the sheer detriment and damage of being edgy for the sake of being edgy," he said.

The episode is reminiscent of the turmoil surrounding Felix ‘Pewdiepie’ Kjellberg last year, where his attempts at humour involving Nazis and Jews resulted in Disney severing ties with the star. The Swedish YouTuber announced he would be distancing himself from making jokes around Nazi and Nazi Germany after the events at Charlottesville, partially as a way to avoid his material from being co-opted by white supremacists and actual Nazis.

Pewdiepie Says He's Going To Stop Making Nazi Jokes After Charlottesville

Earlier this year, YouTube's biggest star sparked controversy after Disney severed ties with him over jokes about Jewish people and Nazis. At the time, Felix "Pewdiepie" Kjellberg apologised but continued to make many Nazi references in defiance to the outrage. Months later, Kjellberg says he has a different perspective about those jokes and says he's no longer going to make them.

Read more

"I remember back when everything happened in February, I was sort of like, ‘I mean, they’re just jokes. There’s not actual Nazis out there, what are you talking about?’ And then I look at this, and I’m like oh, I see. OK!," Kjellberg said at the time.

Bertke's explanation was accepted by some fans on social media. Others questioned his sincerity and the logic behind the humour, though:

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Bertke has found himself in hot water before, being jailed in the United States for three weeks after touring the country without a working visa. He was handed a 10 year ban from entering the US, which expires in 2021.


Comments

    Once upon a time, I loved this guys stuff. Now I know more about the dickhead behind it, no more.

      Can you like what an artist produces while not liking an artist?

        Yes. Takes some work separating art from artist but it's possible to appreciate something without liking the people behind it.

        At some point though, you're still supporting them, or associating yourself with them.

        If I knew someone who said "I like watching Roseanne, I just don't like her" I'd still be judging them regardless.

          Go right ahead and judge me then :P I love watching John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Michael Fishman, Laurie Metcalf, Lecy Goransen, Johnny Galecki and pretty much all of them on the show. I do find Roseanne herself to be the weak link of the show in general but hey, I didn't mind the actual show. I'm one of those who can actually separate art from the artist.

          *gasp* I even like Tom Cruise movies.

    I saw the video last night and this guy is pure scum. Just watched the update and honestly you can see right through him. He thinks he can guise his words and videos as satire and "so over the top they can't be real" but he knows that he's spreading hate. I hope many people boycott his art. Honestly it would be great if spotify gave this guy the R Kelly treatment, removing him from recommended playlists and from the 'Song Radio' feature so you'd have to actively seek his content.

      Obviously a mistake and a regret. Go pile on the hate because your mistakes and jokes were never published for public judgement.

      I hope his music career continues to excel.

    If you don't find the joke funny, you probably aren't the intended audience. This type of humour is the same as that found in a dead baby joke.
    https://www.scienceabc.com/eyeopeners/laugh-dark-humor-funny.html
    "[Dark humour] jokes are funny because they violate your beliefs, but turn out to be something insignificant."

      Dead baby jokes are dark humour that works because they are obviously stupid and have a clear intention of satire. This wasn't humourous and the satire wasn't there. He wasn't pretending to be a right-wing supporter like he mentioned in his "apology" when he recorded this during the 2016 US election campaign, and if you say he was it definitely wasn't obvious because there was no parody.

      Using dark humour as an excuse for being a terrible person is pathetic

      If you find the joke funny, you’re probably a privileged heterosexual who hasn’t had to endure lifelong discrimination and face a new homophobic rant from a new public figure at least once a week.

      Your definition of “dark humour” faulters because hate speech against homosexuals isn’t “insignificant”, it’s a very real and serious problem that harms a great number of people. So forgive me for not laughing.

      The "something insignificant" part is what doesn't match here. Heck, that whole article makes it pretty clear why a diatribe like this isn't an effective vehicle for dark humor.

      Also, you're misquoting the guy in the article with those brackets. He's referring to all jokes - the benign violation stuff that he puts forward isn't specific to dark humor.

        Didn't say it was funny, and I don't really find it funny. I was just bolstering the argument that it was a joke, as a misfired joke doesn't warrant the vitriol being thrown at him.
        I was under the impression (and still am) that the offence here is due to misunderstanding rather than malice.

      "If you dont find the joke funny, You arent allowed to be offended"

      Sound logic you have there bud. So following your logic i can make anti semetic jokes and People arent allowed to get offended because my jokes are aimed at neo nazis?

      Think of one of those people who hates gays so much that seeks them to humiliate them, bash them or kill them. People like that exist, I know you know this. This "humour" resonates more powerfully among people like that: people who want their entertainment to reinforce their hatred.

      If you truly are not homophobic, have valued gay friends and acquaintances and still can watch a person allegedly joking "gays are an abomination and it would be fantastic if they die off" and find it hilarious, well you are a strange one, but I won't judge you. However, please understand if I dump you with the more common patron of such "humour", the homophobic and hateful.

    I feel sorry for satire, being used as a scapegoat like that. What did satire do to deserve this?

      It's ok, satire is trending out as escape goat. Ambien and "midnight tweeting" are the new kings of the block.

    Can I pass it off as satire if I say I'd like to see this jerk human being play in traffic?

    Last edited 01/06/18 5:07 pm

    Good riddance. How much 'satire' do you think members of their community have to deal with DAILY. But likeminded and dim people. Spoiler Alert: A lot. People like this like to think they are cleverest people in a room but they are just young people too eager and desperate to get clicks over choosing to look at the content they create and the effect it has.

    Satire is an all too obvious and regular excuse/attempt to play a 'get out of jail free' card, played too often by people who have no concept that real satire is clever, smart, and respectful to the subject matter.

      Its a cop out by the cowardly. They say something offensive and then claim its just a joke, Because in their tiny brains it being a joke somehow means its not longer allowed to be offensive.

        I may hate what someone says and them personally with all my being but I can at least have a tiny bit of respect for them if they have the balls not to fall back on the "I'm just kidding" BS

    What a toss, how are you gonna make comments about the bar shooting and then claim satire? Scum.

    Something I think warrants mention about satire, or at least good satire: punch up, not down.

      Punching up doesn't work though.
      A lot of the times it will get that group to dig their heals in more, then play off well they can make fin of us we can make fun of them.

      A whole community representing about 1/10 the population vs a remix artist. Which way is down?

    I'll be honest, part of me absolutely expected this article was about people taking something someone had said and blowing it way out of proportion and/or context.

    But man, I'm quite on board with the public execution of this individual's reputation and career.

    I dunno...I'm gay and I couldn't care less what he says or thinks. If anything, he's getting a lot of publicity for this, which is probably his aim.

    But seriously, who cares about people's negative opinions? Everyone has a right to think what they want, and we don't all have to be SJW just because we are told it's the only way to think. He just probably shouldn't have said the things the way he did, or at all given his moderate success as an artist.

      Exactly. Unfortunately most people love to overreact and judge...

      Righteous indignation.

      Last edited 04/06/18 10:39 am

    Its not ok to hate so I hate this person, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate - I feel superior now, my hate is validated

    "Bertke went on to quote a range of favoured conservative speakers and figures, including Ben Shapiro, Joe Rogan, and Jordan Peterson, saying he could only "hope to become like one day"" - Rogan and Peterson would be ashamed of this dipshit

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