Tattoo artist and make-up entrepreneur Kat von D has taken to YouTube to address two controversial topics that she says have been causing hate towards herself and her family. In a video that runs over 10 minutes, von D denies longstanding claims of anti-semitism against her and clarifies her stance on vaccinations.
According to Von D, the rumours of anti-semitism, which have lead to internet commenters calling her and her family Nazis, can be traced back to 2005 when von D joined the cast of tattoo reality TV programme Miami Ink at the age of 22. Von D claims that after she joined and ratings for the show went up, one of her male castmates, who she does not name began to feel threatened leading to “unbearable” treatment on set which ranged from her tattoo equipment being sabotaged to verbal and physical sexual harassment.
Von D says in the video this time in her life was so traumatising that it led her to therapy. After she quit Miami Ink, von D was offered her own spin-off show LA Ink by the network. It was then, she says, that this male castmate attempted to sabotage von D by bringing a headshot with an anti-Semitic message allegedly written by her to the network and then to the media. Von D strenuously denies writing this message and claims it was forged. At the time the network’s publicist advised her to keep quiet on the subject.
"After all these years, this is the first time that I'm actually talking about this publicly," von D said. "Honestly, I've been dreading making this video, but I know that it has to be done. I have to do it. I can't just keep letting other people write this narrative that's so inaccurate and so false and so awful. None of this feels good to relive."
Von D then goes on to address the backlash that she faced last year over the announcement that she would not be vaccinating her then unborn child. Her comments lead to some boycotting von D’s make-up brand and even wishing death her on son. Clarifying the subject, von D says that she is not an anti-vaxxer, “what I am is a first-time mother.” Since making her initial comments, von D says herself and the father of her child decided to consult with a paediatrician and have based their decision on his recommendation, although they are not making that decision public. “I have learned my lesson and I am choosing not to make our decision or any of our baby’s health records public,” she says.