This Guy Taught a Pug to Heil Hitler and Was Convicted of a Hate Crime
The "professional shitposter" who goes by the name Count Dankula could wind up behind bars for up to six months.
Screengrabs via YouTube / Count Dankula
This article originally appeared on VICE US.
Buddha was a cute, innocent pug like any other until Mark Meechan—a "professional shitposter" who prides himself on being anti-PC as Count Dankula online—decided to teach him a new trick. He claimed to have trained the dog to throw up a Nazi salute every time it heard "Sieg Heil" and uploaded footage of the corrupted pup to YouTube—a stunt that landed him in court on Tuesday.
Meechan was convicted on hate crime charges in a Scottish court for uploading the video, which the presiding judge called "grossly offensive," the Telegraph reports. Despite Meechan's insistence that the clip was a joke—and that his right to free speech was under assault—the judge ruled the footage was "anti-Semitic and racist in nature," finding him guilty of violating the UK's Communications Act of 2003. He now could face up to six months in prison.
In the clip—tastefully titled "M8 Yer Dugs A Nazi" and viewed more than 3 million times—Meechan explains that he wanted to play a prank on his girlfriend, who adored her pug, by turning him into "the least cute thing I could think of." In that baby voice everyone puts on when they talk to dogs for some reason, Meechan goads Buddha into getting excited about the Holocaust.
"Buddha, do you want to gas the Jews?" he asks. "C'mon, gas the Jews!"
About as casually as you might say "here boy," he spits out the phrase dozens of times, until Buddha starts to perk up every time he hears it. After he sticks the pooch in front of a TV and shows him a Hitler rally from the 30s, he plops him on the floor and starts calling "Sieg Heil," prompting the mutt to raise his stubby paw in a Nazi salute.
Meechan has since apologized for the video and insisted that he he didn't mean to offend anyone. As he tells it, shouting "gas the Jews" over and over again and posting footage of it online was just supposed to be funny.
"I actually hate racism in any way, shape, or form," Meechan said in his apology video. "It was done as a joke, as a dank meme, and purely just to annoy my girlfriend."
Meanwhile, he's been leaning into the whole "anti-PC warrior" thing, buddying up with the likes of Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson while he live-blogs his own court appearance on Twitter. He's scheduled for sentencing on April 23, but judging from his tweets, he's been taking the whole "going to jail for turning a dog into a Nazi" thing pretty well—or at least pretending to.
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Related: Richard Spencer on White Nationalism