Fred Phelps, who led the gay-hating and headline-grabbing Westboro Baptist Church, passed away on March 19th of this year. TMZ eulogized him with a link to Kool & The Gang’s classic song “Celebration.” But it may be too soon to celebrate the passing of Fred Phelps’ ignorant views. Teen Vine star Nash Grier has picked up where Fred Phelps left off, bashing homosexuality on multiple occasions in the wake of his rise to fame.
Tyler Oakley, a successful digital voice in his own right, called attention to Nash Grier’s hate speech in a tweet this month. A website has kept a record of Nash Grier’s hate speech, and it appears to be authentic.
I’m embarrassed. I’m embarrassed because a lot of great brands have worked with Nash Grier. I personally know employees of MTV, which paid Nash Grier to promote “Teen Wolf.” I personally know employees of Dreamworks, which is reported by The Daily Dot to be backing a Nash Grier movie via their subsidiary, AwesomenessTV. Indeed, AwesomenessTV CEO Brian Robbins is quoted as calling the film “a natural next step” for Mr. Grier and his co-star.
Dreamworks and its subsidiary, AwesomenessTV, needs to publicly clarify their position on Nash Grier’s hateful homophobia. MTV needs to publicly clarify its position on Nash Grier’s hateful homophobia. The only “natural next step” is to expose this and other ignorant hate speech as content that does not reflect our values.
It’s not fair for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth to have their bullies emboldened as Nash Grier compares “HIV” to “fags.” It’s not fair to the adults who contributed to Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project, addressing the epidemic of LGBT youth suicide, for Nash Grier to preach discouraging hate from his social media thrones. It’s not fair to the employees of Dreamworks, MTV and any other brands who have worked with Nash Grier to see their companies chase his economic gravy train at any moral cost.
Promoting a false stereotype that HIV only affects gays to his millions of teen fans is extremely dangerous. https://t.co/W6X9MUrgUK
— Tyler Oakley (@tyleroakley) July 6, 2014
Martin Luther King was right in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail:
“Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”
We need to be morally right in our dealings with hate speech whenever and wherever we see it in social media. The silence of those who do business with Nash Grier is deafening.
About the author:
Tay Zonday is a People’s Choice Award-nominated, YouTube Award-winning, Webby Award-winning singer-songwriter with more than 150 million video views on Youtube.