16-year-old Nash Grier is what you’d call a “Vine Celebrity,” with over 8 million followers on the video-sharing platform, more than any other user on Vine.
But the teenager found himself in hot water after a video he published in April 2013, insisting “HIV is a gay thing,” went viral this week. The video ends with the teen smirking and shouting “fag” into the camera.
YouTube celebrity Tyler Oakley shared Grier’s video before Grier finally took it down following backlash.
Warning: NSFW (the video is loud and it’s hard to miss the scream of “fag.”)
Pretty horrific. Because this is 2014 and nothing makes any sense, this Snapchat, allegedly taken for a post from another viral Vine star Jerome Barr, has been making the rounds this week as well.
The photo is of a bizarre, staged kiss between himself and a gay fan of Grier’s, which was then posted to Tumblr and has gone viral in retaliation to the backlash from the Vine post.
The caption reads: “To all the people complaining about Nash being a homophobic who’s against gays; He willingly kissed a boy just for a snapchat story on top of apologizing twice.”
It is unclear whether the Snapchat was taken because of the Vine or if it was taken before and is purposefully being resurfaced by apologists who want to counteract Grier’s homophobia.
Some fans of Grier disagree:
With 8.7 million followers, Grier has more than celebrities such as Ariana Grande (2.4 million), Ellen DeGeneres (2 million) and Wiz Khalifa (1.7 million) as well as the official Vine account (1.4 million). The second most followed account, KingBach, only has 7.3 million followers. The video comes only weeks after a US survey found that gay, bisexual and transgender men in America are at greater risk of HIV infection due to misconceptions and a lack of information about their health risk.