The app Cameo allows anyone to pay for a personalized video message from a list of celebrities and pseudo-celebrities. Have one of the myriad Real Housewives wish your partner a happy birthday! Ask Billy Zane to congratulate your friend on getting married! Get Brett Favre to unwittingly recite coded anti-Semitism! Wait.
It seemed inevitable that someone would find a way to exploit this app where you pay desperate and/or distracted famous people to say whatever you want. According to BuzzFeed’s Ellie Hall, one group of “white supremacist Youtubers”—two bad things that are worse when combined—hoodwinked the former quarterback into saying this message:
“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.”
As Hall explained, “GDL” stands for “Goyim Defense League,” and “small” stands for “small hats,” which is referring to yarmulkes, and it’s all just obscure and vague enough to get the words past whoever manages requests for Favre. He wasn’t the only one who fell for this. Actor Andy Dick, who previously said stuff like this for free, and rapper Soulja Boy were fooled, to varying degrees:
“Hey, Sway, shoutout to the GDL, hope you guys keep up the great work. Remember what happened that day on the USS Liberty. And keep our military troops...”
The video cuts off at this point. It’s unclear what prompted Dick to leave the message seemingly unfinished.
“Shoutout to Handsome Truth and Sway at GDL,” [Soulja Boy] said in the video, before telling viewers to check out their new single “Name the Juice” on Soundcloud and to subscribe to Handsome Truth 14 on YouTube. “GDL for life, bitch.”
BuzzFeed reported that it viewed but did not publish the videos, “since the users who paid the celebrities have said in livestreams this week that they want the recordings to go viral.” Cameo banned the user who commissioned them and scrubbed the videos from the internet. (Judging from this person on YouTube reacting to the clips, it appears rapper Riff Raff was also duped.) The white supremacists’ plan is to continue this with the other talent available, but if those celebs hire some terminally online publicists, they’ll have a better chance of catching these.
Flacks for Dick and Soulja Boy apologized for being manipulated; Favre’s people didn’t return comment to BuzzFeed. The QB’s still available for $500. What a deal!
Update (Dec. 1, 1:37 p.m. ET): Favre is sorry and said he had no clue what he was saying. He’s donating the money “to Charities supporting their fight against hate and bigotry.”