Podcaster Deddy Corbuzier down nearly 9 million followers on Instagram following gay couple interview backlash

Ragil Mahardika, Frederik Vollert, and Deddy Corbuzier at the Close the Door podcast. Photo: Instagram/@ragilmahardika
Ragil Mahardika, Frederik Vollert, and Deddy Corbuzier at the Close the Door podcast. Photo: Instagram/@ragilmahardika

Popular Indonesian podcaster Deddy Corbuzier’s attempt to start a conversation about homosexuality in a largely homophobic Indonesia may have just backfired on the celeb’s career.

As of this morning, Deddy has 11.1 million followers on Instagram. Divorced from context, that is a number most people could only dream of. However, local media outlets have noted that Deddy had more than 20 million followers before he published a controversial episode on his Joe Rogan-esque podcast Close the Door.

On May 7, Deddy published the episode, crudely and sensationalistically titled “Tutorial on being gay in Indonesia.” He welcomed married gay couple Ragil Mahardika and his German partner Frederik Vollert for the interview. 

What followed was swift condemnation from homophobes, including from the country’s top religious authorities. Calls for boycott of Deddy’s podcast have dominated discourse on social media since, with the hashtag #UnsubscribePodcastCorbuzier still trending on Twitter more than a day after it emerged.

Related — Popular Indonesian podcast faces backlash over gay couple episode

Amid intense backlash, Deddy today posted an apology and uploaded a new podcast episode featuring popular cleric Gus Miftah. The guest schooled Deddy on how homosexuality is wrong in the eyes of Islam.

“As usual, with all the unrest on social media, I apologize… From the beginning I said I don’t support LGBT acts. I only see them as humans,” Deddy wrote in the post’s caption above.

“I’m taking down the video. But I still believe they are human. Hope they will find a better way.
Sorry for all.”

The episode has indeed been taken down as of Tuesday afternoon.

Ragil, on the other hand, took to Instagram to address the controversy yesterday. Stating that he has faced hatred throughout his life and especially since 2018, when he began to gain a following for documenting his life as a married gay man on social media, Ragil stressed that he is unbothered by the negative comments. 

“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 women] to attain a fake status,” he wrote in the caption.

“You can turn a blind eye to us, but know that we live among you. Like it or not, we exist.”

On YouTube, where Deddy posts the video version of his podcasts, the magician-turned-TV personality-turned-podcaster now has 18.6 million subscribers, down from 18.7 million yesterday.

At any rate, the episode featuring Ragil and Frederik was watched 6 million times on YouTube before it was taken down.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include Deddy Corbuzier’s apology for the controversy.

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