While on Twitter, I came across a link for a Washington Post article published April 23rd. The article discussed a Scottish man, Mark Meechan, who posted a video of his girlfriends pug in 2016. The video has since been viewed over a million times, making it pop culture. The video shows a pug watching Hitler’s rally and raising its paw anytime Hitler says “Sieg Heil”. Meechan also questions the dog over and over again “Do you want to gas the Jews?” to which the dog will raise its paw and give a Nazi salute.
On Monday, a sheriff gave Meechan a fine of $1,100 dollars because he was found guilty of a hate crime, because the video was found to be both racist and Anti-Semitic. Meechan claims that he was just trying to annoy his girlfriend because she was constantly saying how cute her dog was, and he wanted the dog to become the least cute thing possible, a Nazi.
The video has created a lot of controversy. Many claiming that the video is Anti-Semitic and extremely offensive. Ephraim Borowski, director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities was deeply offended and claimed he felt “sorry for the dog”. Comedians Ricky Gervais and David Baddiel claimed that Meechan has the right to make jokes like he did because he has a right to free speech. Meechan agrees and says he feels like he did nothing wrong and that he has a rights for freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
I found this offensive. I do not think anyone should be training an animal to respond to the words of Hitler especially with Meechan constantly repeating over and over again “Do you want to gas the Jews?” I do not think it was an okay thing to do just to get a lot of views on YouTube. I also found it upsetting that he did not understand why anyone would be upset by his actions. I think things like this are hard to judge however because people respond to comedy in very different ways. I, however, did find it offensive.
I have attached a link for the article and video here. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2018/04/23/he-trained-a-pug-to-do-a-nazi-salute-for-a-youtube-video-now-hes-been-fined-for-a-hate-crime/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d073a6d606d2