Haterade

Vik Guitars Founder’s Homophobic Comments Rile Members of Periphery and Scar Symmetry

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Vik KuletskiUPDATE, 11:30am EDT: Adam Nolly Getgood of Periphery has posted a statement on his Facebook page denouncing Vik Guitars and announcing he’s ended his relationship with them. Read it here.

Original Post:

Vik Guitars may have just lost themselves some high-profile endorsers due to some homophobic comments posted by luthier and founder Vik Kuletski.

I wasn’t previously familiar with Vik Guitars, but they’ve got support from artists in pretty high places (although weirdly the “Artists” section of their website is currently broken). Periphery bassist Adam “Nolly” Getgood is featured prominently on their homepage. Kuletski’s Facebook cover photo (above) shows him posing with Animals as Leaders’ Javier Reyes and Tosin Abasi and one of his guitars. I get the impression that these are high-quality, well-respected instruments.

The offending post on Kuletski’s Facebook page has since been deleted, but a user of the SevenString.org forums took some screen caps before it all came down (there may have been some deletions in these screen caps too — I’m not sure) and we’ve posted those below. It’s not immediately apparent what Kuletski is referring to, but it comes out in a series of responses farther down the chain. Getgood, Scar Symmetry’s Per Nilsson and Drewsif Stalin all weighed in:

vik1 vik2 vik3 vik4

Since the above post has been deleted, Kuletski took to Facebook earlier this morning to attempt to save face:

There’s a big difference between “don’t like” and “hate”. I don’t hate gay people, pretty much as I don’t hate anything. Hatred is a sick feeling and never led to anything good. 
Fuck whatever you like, it’s none of my business. But don’t expect me to like or sympathize your choice just because you are “different”. I may be tolerant to you and that’s it.

Which, OK, there certainly is a difference between “don’t like” and “hate.” But the above comment strikes me as an incredibly insincere attempt to backpedal, and in this case “don’t like” and “hate” both amount to “discriminate,” which is exactly what Kuletski is doing no matter how you slice the pie. The last line is especially telling; the insinuation is that Kuletski is saying he’ll “tolerate” gay people as long as they give him money for his instruments.

Kuletski is certainly entitled to his opinion, but his artists and customers are entitled to spend their money however they please, and I’m sure he just lost himself at least a few orders. It’ll be interesting to see whether Nolly and other notable players stop endorsing his instruments, or vice versa, for that matter.

And this is why Masvidal and Reinert didn’t want to make a big deal of their sexuality in the media despite technically being out all these years. On the plus side it’s definitely helping to draw attention to the issue, which I think we can all agree will end up being a good thing even if the road is difficult.

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