A group of white supremacist YouTubers are using a new app to trick celebrities like former NFL quarterback Brett Favre and rapper Soulja Boy into making coded anti-Semitic videos.
Now, Favre and Soulja Boy are doing some serious backtracking after a report from BuzzFeed News revealed that they had been bamboozled.
The app, Cameo, seems pretty harmless on its face. It connects Average Joes with celebrities, and allows the former to pay the latter to make some kind of statement. Cameo calls them “personalized video shoutouts.”
According to BuzzFeed News, white supremacists used the app to get in touch with Brett Favre and Soulja Boy, and then paid them to made cryptic statements that were ostensibly supportive of U.S. troops but were filled with anti-Semitic dog whistles.
Favre’s Cameo page. IMAGE: SCREENSHOT / CAMEO
The group reportedly responsible calls itself the Goyim Defense League (GDL), and they used Cameo to get Favre to issue a statement containing their coded anti-Semitic message.
According to Cameo, a message from Favre costs $500.
“Brett Favre here with a shoutout to the Handsome Truth and the GDL boys,” Favre reportedly says in the video viewed by BuzzFeed News. “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 U.S.S. Liberty and the men and women who died on that day. God bless and take care.”
According to the report, the usage of “small” is allegedly a slur for yarmulkes, and the U.S.S. Liberty is a naval ship that was “accidentally” attacked in 1967 by Israeli forces.
Favre maybe didn’t realize exactly what he was saying, and he posted a statement to Facebook denouncing the hate group.
“I was distressed to learn that the request came from an anti-Semitic group that reposted my video with comments implying that I endorsed their mission,” read the statement in part. “Nothing could be further from the truth. I am therefore donating my $500 Cameo fee to Charities supporting their fight against hate and bigotry.”
Meanwhile, Soulja Boy recorded a similar video promoting GDL ideology.
“Shoutout to Handsome Truth and Sway at GDL,” the rapper says in a video viewed by Buzzfeed News, “GDL for life, bitch.”
A representative for Soulja Boy told the outlet that the rapper was unaware of the group’s affiliation.
“Soulja Boy was unaware that the video on Cameo was tied to a group that promotes hate.”
In any event, according to The Root, the video below may or may not be Soulja Boy describing his retaliation on the GDL when he had been tricked.
An app spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the videos were removed and that the user who paid for them was banned. The company hopes to prevent something like this from happening again by rolling out new filters.