London Pride and YouTube Endorse ‘Influencer’ Accused of Faking His Own Gay-Bashing
Remember Calum McSwiggan? We understand if you don’t, so here is a refresher.
Calum McSwiggan is a gay YouTuber. On June 29, 2016, he went on social media and claimed he was gay bashed after a night out in West Hollywood.
Last night was the worst night of my life and I’m really struggling to find the words to talk about it. After one of the most wonderful weekends at VidCon we went out to a gay club to celebrate, and towards the end of the evening I was separated from my friends and beaten up by three guys. The authorities should have been there to help and protect me but instead they treated me like a second class citizen. With three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead, I’ve never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye.
However, police immediately refuted those claims.
In an official statement on the matter, the Sheriff’s Department said:
Responding deputies were unable to substantiate the assault. Mr. McSwiggan, who had no visible injuries, was subsequently arrested after deputies observed him vandalizing a car in the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. After being booked and photographed, Mr. McSwiggan was placed into a cell by himself at West Hollywood Station. Mr. McSwiggan was then observed injuring himself with the handle and receiver to a payphone inside the cell. Medical personnel were summoned and Mr. McSwiggan was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
In November, 2016, McSwiggan plead guilty to felony vandalism and was sentenced to three years felony probation, 52 anger management counseling sessions and $7,000 in damages for vandalizing a car.
The LA County District Attorney’s office had originally accused McSwiggan of filing a fake police report. The DA’s office dropped the charges of filing a false report in order to pursue the felony vandalism charges.
McSwiggan claims that he damaged the car of one of his assailants as an act of revenge; police contend that McSwiggan had no visible injuries from the alleged gay bashing and did not prosecute any of the alleged assailants.
Even after all of this, he still claimed on Twitter he never lied:
After five months of investigation this charge has finally been dropped. I never lied and I’m grateful that the world can now see that.
— Calum McSwiggan ? (@CalumMcSwiggan) November 8, 2016
So why are people still endorsing him?
McSwiggan just recently worked with London Pride on a video as part of its “Love Happens Here” campaign. He also marched with the YouTube float. When news broke of his involvement with the organization, including appearing at a meet-and-greet, Twitter took off.
Do you think Calum Mcswiggan, a guy who faked a hate crime and lied about it, should be doing a meet and greet at Pride?
— Max ? (@Maxuk83) July 7, 2017
Pride London discussed the YouTuber’s central role in the official Pride event a few months ago, aware that it might spark outrage.
A spokesperson for Pride London told PinkNews: “We are aware of the incident he was involved in and followed the outcome closely. Our view is that he was dealt with by the courts and that, having paid his dues and apologized, we should maintain our support for Calum and all the good work he does in the community.”
“Everybody deserves another chance, but – as guardians of London’s Pride event – we carefully review our partnerships on an ongoing basis.”
But McSwiggan never did apologize, as many people on Twitter have pointed out.
He still defends that he did nothing wrong lmao
— The Essex Gay (@The_Essex_Gay) July 8, 2017
The spokesperson added: “At Pride in London we share concerns about hate crime and the lasting impact they have on victims. The fight against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is a major focus in everything we do. Our recent research and campaign highlights this.”
Maybe you should have research that non-existent apology you claim happened.
Obviously, Pride (or YouTube for that matter) doesn’t take hate crimes seriously. If they did, they wouldn’t endorse a person who tried to use one as a way to get more likes.
McSwiggan – we get you made a mistake, albeit a really, really big one. But it’s not going to go away until you’re honest about it.
He hasn’t addressed the controversy directly. But on Friday, he tweeted, “I wish gay men would stop trying to tear one another down. We should treat each other with the love and acceptance we preach to others about.”
We’ll leave you with this epic response:
Is this really coming from a guy who faked an LGBT hate crime after he was caught acting like an entitled prick on a night out?! pic.twitter.com/I78biT1ImL
— Ryan Laskey (@iamryanlaskey) July 7, 2017