The most followed person on the Vine video sharing site has been lambasted for an ignorant and homophobic post that’s angered tens of thousands of people around the world.
Sixteen-year-old Nash Grier is a veritable Vine superstar, with over 8.7 million followers (more than entertainers like Justin Bieber and Harry Styles). He also has 2.71 million followers on Twitter, 5.74 million on Instagram, and 3 million subscribers on YouTube.
In April, he posted a short clip that he probably assumed his teenage followers would find hilarious, but was actually quickly forgotten, until now.
The video includes a scene from an ad for an HIV home testing kit in which two male models state: “Testing for HIV. It’s not a gay thing.”
That immediately cuts to a shot of Grier looking into the camera, yelling: “Yes it is! FAG!”
The gay slur clip was initially forgotten but was recently reposted by outraged fellow Vine user Tyler Oakley, who commented: “Promoting a false stereotype that HIV only affects gays to his millions of teen fans is extremely dangerous.”
That’s when the video finally caught the attention of the online world. Tens of thousands shared the post and commented on the video, most condemning Grier.
An online petition was even started demanding that he “Publicly apologise for using gay slurs and recant your false statement regarding HIV.”
The young man has responded by taking down the video and issuing a grovelling apology on Twitter for “anything negative I’ve said towards gays… I was young, ignorant, stupid and in a bad place.”
He added: “I’ve moved on and learned from my mistakes and I am so truly sorry to anyone I have offended. I have nothing against anyone or anything that promotes equality. Sorry again.”
Watch the offensive video below.