UPDATE: A YouTube spokesperson told TheWrap in a statement Tuesday: “With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it. We also offer uploaders the ability to appeal removals and we will re-review the content. “
Singer-songwriter Peter Himmelman says he’s flummoxed after YouTube took down a video of a song he wrote about last week’s deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Himmelman, the founder of the popular Minneapolis band Sussman Lawrence who also happens to be Bob Dylan’s son-in-law, said he wrote “Mass Killin’ Gun” after his friend’s niece was forced to hide in a closet while the shooter gunned down 17 of her schoolmates and teachers.
“It was meant to be ironic,” Himmelman told TheWrap. “Obviously I don’t endorse going around killing people with an AR-15.”
The song, which can be heard in the video above, is written from the perspective of the shooter and describes the relationship between a killer and his weapon.
“I’m holding a thing of beauty/More deadly than a guillotine/It’s more than a weapon, it’s my semi-automatic wet dream/With it I am invincible, I get higher than a shot of morphine/You know I love my AR 15,” the song goes.
But YouTube apparently didn’t get it. The streaming giant took down the video and put Himmelman on notice, even after he explained the song to the company in a written complaint.
“It’s not a shining moment for YouTube,” Himmelman said. “YouTube claims it’s trying to give people a voice, but when you of peek behind the curtain all you see is the Wizard of Oz, and it’s just one big machine.”
YouTube did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. But in a letter to Himmelman, obtained by TheWrap, YouTube told the singer: “After further review of the content, we’ve determined that your video does violate our Community Guidelines and have upheld our original decision.”
Himmelman called YouTube’s response “troubling.”
“They’ve grown so much, they’ve become just another giant bureaucracy, everything they’ve been trying to disrupt has come full circle and now they’re just the man,” he said.
“It wasn’t gun control that spurred the song,” Himmelman added. “I was just trying to imagine someone so derange and what was going through his mind.”