Canadian DJ Deadmau5 has been forced to apologise after being accused of homophobia and voicing a string of offensive slurs about autism.
The artist, real name Joel Zimmerman, described a track by DJ Slushii as “Aids f****** music” and “autistic s***” during a video stream.
Slushii, real name Julian Scanlan, addressed the remarks on Twitter, revealing he is on the autistic spectrum.
“As someone who’s actually on the autism spectrum, this is really disappointing,” he wrote.
“I’ve been bullied all my life. Seeing that video upsets me so much because I always looked up to @deadmau5 and I don’t take having a form of autism lightly.
“It’s sad as such an influential member of our community you continue to use your platform to bring others down.”
He was also accused of making homophobic and transphobic comments in since deleted tweets.
Zimmerman apologised in a Twitter statement saying he is “addressing [his] own mental health challenges” and that he has “fallen short” of his goal to uplift the next generation through his musical career.
“This has been a very difficult period and I sincerely apologise for my comments which were completely offensive and I take full responsibility for,” he wrote.
“Now it’s time for me to deal with my own personal issues including finally addressing my own mental health challenges that I have wrestled with for the past several years.”
He continued: “My desire to start a record label was to uplift the community and give opportunities to the next generation and I have fallen very short of that goal.
“I’ve consulted with friends and loved ones and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m in need of professional help to get on top of my issues and become a better me.”
He finished by announcing he is “going off the radar” to take time to work on himself.