John Ondrasik warns of ‘political’ censorship after YouTube temporarily removed Afghan withdrawal music video

“It seems that freedom of expression only matters when the censorship applies to our side, our tribal team,” Ondrasik told co-host, Dana Perino. “If it’s criticizing somebody that’s on our side, well so what, censorship. It’s all political.”

Ondrasik went on to say that bringing attention to the American citizens and allies left behind, the children sold for food, the lesbians and gays who have been murdered, and the women who have had their rights stripped away was not a political message, but rather a moral one.

JOHN ONDRASIK RELEASES GRAPHIC VIDEO FOR ‘BLOOD ON MY HANDS’ FEATURING FOOTAGE OF AFGHANISTAN UNDER TALIBAN

He also took aim at celebrities and human rights activists that “stand on their soapboxes and preach about their moral compassion” while remaining silent on the abuses occurring within Afghanistan as a result of U.S. indifference and complicity. 

 John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting at PBS' 2017 National Memorial Day Concert Rehearsals at U.S. Capitol on May 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. 

 John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting at PBS’ 2017 National Memorial Day Concert Rehearsals at U.S. Capitol on May 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts)

“Frankly none of them stood up for me when YouTube took my video down. Their silence I think speaks loudly, and it makes you wonder if the whole thing’s an act.”

The video, which used real-world footage depicting atrocities by the Taliban and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, was reportedly flagged as having violated YouTube’s “graphic content policy.”

Once the video gained traction, Ondrasik claimed YouTube removed the video, citing issues with its graphic imagery, despite other similar videos of Taliban atrocities existing on the tech platform. Roughly nine hours after the songwriter tweeted about his video having been removed, YouTube reinstated it. The platform added a warning that the video could be “inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.”

Hundreds of people gather near a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane at a perimeter at the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. 

Hundreds of people gather near a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane at a perimeter at the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.  (AP)

“This was our mistake, and we’ve reinstated your video. So sorry this happened, and thanks for being patient while we worked this out,” Team YouTube said on Twitter, followed by a prayer hands emoji.

The singer-songwriter added that the flip-flop by YouTube was perplexing and probably would have never occurred without a national outcry to reinstate the video.

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report. 

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