Scottish comedian and YouTuber Markus Meechan, better known as Count Dankula, is facing a year in prison for recording and uploading a video where he taught his girlfriend’s pet dog how to “seig heil” on command. As Heat Street reported earlier this year the viral video did not amuse Scottish police, prompting his arrest.
“I think everything can and should be joked about,” Meechan told Heat Street at the time. “I’m still trying to find the humor in it, laughter just makes it easier to deal with.”
On Wednesday, Meechan posted an update about his case. “Legal aid application was rejected,” he posted on Twitter. “I’m fucked.”
“I’ve been trying to avoid that as I thought I could get legal aid, but it seems it’s my only option now,” added the comedian. Without legal aid in the UK, Meechan will not have proper legal representation, and will be forced to represent himself before a judge.
Prominent eSports journalist and former Breitbart Tech writer Richard Lewis reached out to Meechan to help him pay for his legal defense fees through the crowdfunding website YouCaring. They’re seeking a goal of £12,000 (about $15,600).
Support for Meechan’s right to free expression has garnered attention from YouTubers and celebrities, including conservative actor Adam Baldwin who tweeted “#PoliticalCorrectnessIsEvil” with a link to the crowdfund.
“When making a shit joke lands you jail time, you know that you really aren’t living freely,” wrote Bunty King. “Help this man.”
YouTuber Dave Cullen echoed his remarks, writing: “Really important one here guys. If this guy goes to jail for a joke, Scotland is in trouble.”
If convicted, Meechan will be the first Scottish comedian to be jailed over a joke.