The arrest is the latest escalation in a feud stretching back to Nov. 2019.
Friendlyjordies Producer Arrested
Popular YouTuber friendlyjordies posted a video on Monday that shows his producer, Kristo Langker, being arrested by plainsclothes Australian officers.
The police, part of a counter-terrorism branch known as the “fixated persons unit,” were acting upon a formal complaint filed by New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro, who accused Langker of stalking and harrassment related to two separate incidents.
Langker’s lawyer has called his client’s bail conditions “utterly extreme” as they prohibit him from possessing images or caricatures of Barilaro. Langker is also barred from speaking on Barilaro’s “personal appearance or behaviour.”
Langker, who has been charged with stalking and intimidating Barilaro, will appear in court on June 24.
The Feud Between Friendlyjordies and Barilaro
Langker’s arrest can be traced back to an ongoing feud between Barilaro and friendlyjordies, whose real name is Jordan Shanks, that began in late 2019.
In November of that year, Shanks — a political satire YouTuber with about half a million subscribers — blasted NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for the state’s response to Australia’s devastating bushfire season. In fact, he even dubbed her a “Koala Killer” in reference to the numerous animals that died during the fires.
Later, her Deputy Premier, Barilaro, criticized the use of the phrase on Sydney radio.
On June 18, Shanks posted a video where he said he must continue to “trigger” Barilaro “for the good of the state.” During that video, Shanks, who’s known for over-the-top impressions of politicians, went on to impersonate Barilaro, adopting a heavily exaggerated Italian accent and repeatedly swearing.
Following that video, Barilaro denounced Shanks’ impression as “very offensive” and “racist.” To note, both of Barilaro’s parents are Italian immigrants to Australia. Meanwhile, Shanks has some southern European ancestry, though no known Italian ancestry.
The back and forth between Shanks and Barilaro didn’t stop there. In September, Shanks rented an Airbnb property owned by Barilaro, and while there, Shanks accused him of corruption and environmental vandalism — while continuing to do an exaggerated accent.
In May, Shanks then revealed that Barilaro had sent him a letter in Dec. 2019 threatening to sue him for defamation.
“The deputy premier of [NSW] really likes destroying [NSW’s] environment and he’s using his office to enrich himself,” Shanks said. “I make fun of him for this, so naturally his response was to call me racist for putting on an Italian accent while doing so.”
In that same video, Shanks shows a clip of him confronting Barilaro while dressed as Luigi from Nintendo’s Mario series.
“John, you silly calzone!” he says while running up to the lawmaker. “Why you threaten to sue me? Why you threaten to sue? Why you do this?”
Shanks is then guided away by guards, but his producer, Kristo Langker, stays and begins to argue with other guards and staffers while trying to speak with Barilaro.
“John, I’ve got some documents you might like to see,” Langker jokes. “I’ve got an Italian club.”
As Langker continues to try to push through to Barilaro, the situation becomes noticeably tenser. One guard can briefly be seen lunging to move Langker back. Eventually, Langker finds his way to Barilaro.
“Just go,” Barilaro says in the clip. “Why don’t you just bugger off?”
“I want to know why you are threatening to sue,” Langker says.
“I’m not threatening to sue. I am suing,” Barilaro responds. “Because you guys are liars.”
At the end of May, Barilaro launched official defamation proceedings against Shanks.
Clip of the Arrest
Langker was arrested for both his actions at the event where Shanks was dressed as Luigi and for a second incident on June 4 where he approached Barilaro as the lawmaker was returning to his car following the funeral of rugby star Bob Fulton.
“Deputy premier, why are you suing my boss?” Langker asked at the time.
Hours later, the fixated persons unit appeared at Langker’s doorstep and arrested him while his family filmed the interaction.
Shanks shared several clips of the incident in his Monday video. In those clips, Langker can be seen trying to give his cell phone to his mother before the police intervene to seize the phone. The camera then goes dark, but an officer can be heard saying, “They’re trying to give away evidence to try to run away with it. Don’t throw the evidence, okay?!”
Following that scuffle, Langker’s mother accused an officer of assaulting her, saying, “You hurt a 51-year-old woman! You knocked me over!”
The officer then repeatedly says he tripped over her as she tried to pass the phone off to another, unidentified female.
“You pushed me down in my own home!” Langker’s mother continues to allege.
At one point, she even accuses the police of killing the family dog. Though that dog wasn’t actually dead, the family is still accusing the police of nearly killing it.
Shanks has also condemned the arrest and referred to the fixated persons unit as an “extra-legal mafia.” This isn’t the first time the unit has faced criticism. Independent Australia has described it as Orwellian and as looming in the shadow of Big Brother.
Barilaro has declined to comment on the arrest.
See what others are saying: (ABC Australia) (The Sydney Herald) (The Guardian)
“Emancipation” Producer Apologizes, Hopes He Did Not “Distract” From Film’s Message By Bringing Photo of Enslaved Man to Premiere
He said he plans on donating his collection of historical images to appropriate institutions.
McFarland Brings “Whipped Pete” Photo to Premiere
“Emancipation” producer Joey McFarland apologized on Sunday after facing backlash for bringing the original 1863 photo of the enslaved person the film is based on to the premiere.
“I wholeheartedly apologize to everyone I have offended by bringing a photograph of Peter to the Emancipation premiere,” he wrote in a statement on Instagram. “My intent was to honor this remarkable man and to remind the general public that his image not only brought about change in 1863 but still resonates and promotes change today.”
The photo, frequently dubbed “Whipped Peter,” is one of the most famous images depicting the gruesome realities of slavery in America. He is facing away from the camera, revealing the severe scarring all across his back. According to the Library of Congress, the formerly enslaved man was actually named Gordon. Will Smith plays him in “Emancipation,” which follows his escape from slavery.
While walking the red carpet of the film’s premiere, McFarland carried the photo with him.
“I have the photo. This is the original photograph from 1863,” he told Variety. “I wanted it to be here tonight. I wanted a piece of Peter to be here tonight.”
While lamenting the fact that so many historical artifacts have not been properly preserved, McFarland told Variety that he “took it upon [him]self to curate and build a collection for future generations.” He said his collection will be donated after he dies.
His remarks were met with swift criticism from those who thought it was inappropriate for McFarland to not just own the picture, but to bring it to a Hollywood event.
“Why do you own the photograph? Why did you bring it to a movie premiere if the intent is to preserve it respectfully?” The Black List founder Franklin Leonard tweeted.
“I don’t know, man, but bringing ‘a piece of Peter’ that you ‘own’ to the red carpet of a movie that’s personally enriching you so that you can collect more slave memorabilia that you’ll keep until your death,” he added along with a giphy of Kenan Thompson saying “yikes.”
McFarland Acknowledges Historical Photos “Belong to the World”
Others argued that the photo should belong to Gordon’s family.
“Being in possession of a symbol that reflects our trauma is exactly what our oppressor would do. He is his ancestor’s child,” another person added.
In his apology, McFarland said that he hopes his actions “don’t distract from the film’s message, Peter’s story and just how much impact he had on the world.”
Throughout the development of “Emancipation,” McFarland said he discovered many photos of overlooked individuals with important historical stories. He said he always planned to donate them and believes “there is no better time to begin that process than now.”
“These photographs, which existed before me, will be around long after I am gone; they belong to the world,” he wrote.
See what others are saying: (Variety) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Daily Beast)
Joe Rogan Holds Spot As Top Podcaster on Spotify in 2022
Earlier this year, some threatened to boycott the platform over Rogan and the health misinformation he shared on his show.
For the third year in a row, “The Joe Rogan Experience” was the number one podcast on Spotify, the company revealed in its yearly “Wrapped” feature on Wednesday.
“The Joe Rogan Experience” became exclusive to Spotify in 2020 after the host signed a lucrative deal with the audio streaming platform. “Call Her Daddy” by Alex Cooper, also a Spotify exclusive, followed Rogan on the charts. “Anything Goes With Emma Chamberlain,” which will become exclusive to the service next year, came in third.
Rogan’s podcast has made several headlines over the last year as the podcaster faced backlash from medical professionals and major musicians for touting COVID-19 misinformation. Niel Young asked to have his music removed from Spotify in protest of the company’s deal with Rogan, and several other artists soon followed.
Just a few days later, several clips resurfaced of Rogan using a racial slur. Many called to boycott Spotify for platforming Rogan, but his popularity did not seem to fade by the year’s end.
There are over four million podcasts available to stream on Spotify and over the last year, the platform has expanded into new markets.
It also has started launching podcasts from several high-profile figures, including Kim Kardashian’s “The System,” and Meghan Markle’s “Archetypes.” Both of those debuted mid-year and did not crack the annual top-five list.
Comedian Gives David Beckham Ultimatum: Exit Role at Qatar World Cup Or £10K in Donations Gets Shredded
“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded,” Joe Lycett said in a video.
Pressure on Beckham
Comedian Joe Lycett posted a video on Sunday saying he would shred £10,000 if soccer star David Beckham does not pull out of his deal to be an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup.
Ahead of the event, which kicks off on Nov. 20, many have been raising concerns about human rights abuses in Qatar. The country criminalizes homosexuality, and it can be punishable by death.
Beckham’s deal to represent the country was reportedly worth £10 million, and many are frustrated that the athlete took such a big check from a country with known anti-LGBTQ laws. In his video, Lycett noted that Beckham has been openly supportive of his gay fans and was the first premiere footballer to do a photoshoot with a gay magazine.
In an attempt to get Beckham to bow out of his role, Lycett, who is pansexual, offered an ultimatum.
“If you end your relationship with Qatar, I’ll donate this £10,000 of my own money, that’s a grand for every million you’re reportedly getting, to charities that support queer people in football,” he stated. “However, if you do not, at midday next Sunday, I will throw this money into a shredder.”
“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded.”
Beckham’s Reputation “Shredded”
Lycett said he would livestream the money shredding if that’s what the situation comes to. If Beckham does not back out of the World Cup, Lycett noted he will be forced to “commit what might be a crime,” as destroying legal tender is against the law in the U.K.
“Although even then, I reckon I’ll get off more lightly than I would if I got caught whacking off a lad in Doha,” Lycett quipped.
Lycett then linked to a website titled https://benderslikebeckham.com/, which includes a written version of his message, as well as a countdown to when he will either shred the cash or send it to a non-profit.
Lycett is not the only U.K star to raise concerns about issues in Qatar. Singer Dua Lipa shut down speculation that she would be performing at the World Cup over the weekend by saying she has no intentions to visit the country until “it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host” the event.
Other stars, however, including BTS’s Jung Kook, are slated to take the stage.