Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
A presenter who hosts a Joe Rogan-style podcast has reportedly lost 9 million followers on Instagram after interviewing a gay couple.
Indonesian-based Deddy Corbuzier saw his Instagram following a tumble from 20 million to 11.1 million in the days after his on-air chat with married same-sex couple Ragil Mahardika and his German partner Frederik Vollert.
The episode – titled ‘Tutorial on being gay in Indonesia’, broadcast on May 7 – infuriated Muslim religious leaders who called for a boycott of the show.
One day after the show was posted, the hashtag ‘UnsubscribePodcastCorbuzier’ started to trend on Twitter and the presenter deleted the podcast from YouTube.
Following the backlash, Corbuzier posted an apology and followed up the episode with an interview with popular Muslim cleric Gus Miftah who explained how homosexuality is considered wrong in the eyes of Islam.
Corbuzier said: “As usual, with all the unrest on social media, I apologise… From the beginning I said I don’t support LGBT acts. I only see them as humans.”
He added: “I’m taking down the video, but I still believe they are human. Hope they will find a better way. Sorry for all.”
Meanwhile, his gay guest Ragil Mahardika said: “One thing you must know: there is more than just one Ragil. There are many more Ragils out there. Even your friends, best friends, family, or your partner (many of you get married to attain a fake status).
“You can turn a blind eye to us, but know that we live among you. Like it or not, we exist.”
The video was reportedly viewed 6 million times on YouTube before being taken down.