A new video service called Cameo was launched in April 2018 with the intent of allowing celebrities to record short, personalized videos for fans. The service includes a stable of athletes with a wide range of varying relevance, all of whom you can hear say your name in exchange for a quick payment.
Those videos could be something like a personal greeting, a birthday shout-out or a holiday celebration. Apparently, they could also be a assortment of coded, anti-semitic language meant to validate white supremacists.
A report from Buzzfeed on Friday revealed that a group of white supremacist YouTubers have been using Cameo to dupe celebrities into endorsing racial messages and conspiracy theories. That group of celebrities reportedly includes comedian Andy Dick, rapper Soulja Boy and, most notably, Green Bay Packers legend Brett Favre.
Brett Favre accidentally records video rife with anti-semitic language
For a fee of $500, Favre’s going rate on Cameo, two alt-right trolls reportedly submitted instructions for a video that were approved by Favre. The Hall of Fame quarterback then recorded himself saying the following:
“Brett Favre here with a shoutout to the Handsome Truth and the GDL boys,” Favre said in the shaky video. “You guys are patriots in my eyes. So keep waking them up and don’t let the small get you down. Keep fighting too and don’t ever forget the USS Liberty and the men and women who died on that day. God bless and take care.”
While the text of that video might raise an eyebrow at first glance, it’s also not hard to see how Favre might have skimmed the instructions and not realized what he was doing.
Here’s a quick run-down of the codes used in that transcript, according to Buzzfeed.
- GDL and the Handsome Truth are the white supremacists that paid for the video
- “waking them up” obviously means recruiting for the alt-right
- “the small” refers to “small hats,” a slur for yarmulke
- the USS Liberty is a US vessel fired upon by Israeli forces during the Six-Day War in 1967, killing 34. Israel later apologized and said its pilots thought they were firing on an Egyptian ship, but the incident has predictably become a pet cause for anti-semitic activists.
The video has since been taken down by Cameo and multiple copies of it have been removed from YouTube, but it reportedly lives on through anti-semitic message boards. Buzzfeed said it had viewed the video, but opted to not publish it, as that would validate the people who wanted the video to go viral.
Everyone but Brett Favre apologizes for Cameo mistake
The whole incident got its perpetrators a pat on the back in the white supremacist community as the video spread into dark corners of the internet. Cameo released a statement denouncing their actions and claiming its was the first time something like this had happened in the company’s history:
“On or about November 22nd, Cameo talent received requests that appeared to be aimed at supporting the American military. After recording the videos Cameo learned that the request came from an anti-Semitic group and contained content that could be interpreted as anti-Semitic,” Cameo said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
“This was a blatant misuse of the Cameo platform and a violation of Cameo’s terms of service. This is the first incident of its kind in more than 93,000 Cameos and a gross misrepresentation of the talent’s political beliefs,” the statement continued. “Cameo immediately removed the videos from the website, requested YouTube to remove the content and created new filters to prevent this from happening in the future. The user has been banned from purchasing Cameos.”
When reached for comment by Buzzfeed, representatives for Dick and Soulja Boy reportedly said that both men were misled and do not share the beliefs of the people who requested the video. According to Buzzfeed, Favre’s representatives curiously did not return a request for comment, something the football legend might want to remedy lest he appear to support the message he accidentally created.