BBC airs documentary about the man who trained his dog to make a Nazi salute


(JTA) — A Jewish group in Glasgow, Scotland is criticizing the BBC for making a documentary about a YouTube celebrity who taught his girlfriend’s dog to perform the Nazi salute.

Mark Meechan, 31, told the program his video was freedom of speech and called it “edgy humor.”

Attorney Matthew Berlow of Glasgow Friends of Israel said of the show: “Are we really at the stage when we can now laugh at the painful deaths of six million human beings and call it ‘edgy’ comedy?” the Scottish Sun reported.

The BBC Three show called “The Nazi Pug: Joke or Hate?” follows Meechan, known on YouTube as Count Dankula, following his hate crime conviction in 2018. He taught the pug, named Buddha, to respond with the Nazi salute when prompted by statements such as “Heil Hitler” and “gas the Jews.” Meechan posted videos of the dog performing the trick on YouTube. He was found guilty of a hate crime and fined $1,100.

The BBC defended its decision to make the documentary, which became available online  on Monday.

“There has been much debate and public interest in the actions of Markus Meechan who was found guilty of an offence under the communications act. His arrest generated controversy and discussion about freedom of speech and the documentary explores this whilst challenging Markus’ views and holding him to account,” a BBC spokesman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The original video, posted in April 2016 on his YouTube channel,  has been viewed nearly 4.3 million times. Meechan said on the video that he trained the dog to annoy his girlfriend. He later posted a video in which he apologized for the original dog clips, saying it was a joke and that he has no such political leanings.

Berlow and his organization also have called on YouTube to remove the video. He said YouTube “is perpetuating the crime he’s been convicted of.”

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