A Hawaiian man has sparked internet outrage after posting a video of himself peeing on top of Mauna Kea – a mountain known to Native Hawaiians as sacred.
The offensive viral video was removed from Travis Upright’s Instagram profile after the stunt drew heavy backlash.
It showed him urinating on the peak before then sticking his middle finger at the camera and walking off the screen.
Upright wrote on Instagram that he had to use the bathroom after an 11-hour hike.
Travis Upright posted a video of himself urinating on Hawaii’s sacred Mauna Kea
After relieving himself, Upright stuck his middle finger at the camera, causing more insults
‘How many did. I (thought) it looks cool with the clouds below me so I made a video,” he wrote. ‘And the last-minute flip-off was just that I was being silly.’
His actions caused anger and abuse from other users. Upright has since posted three video apologies — each more modest than the last, along with a lengthy written note.
He said: “I’m so sorry for you all. I was so arrogant and just didn’t get it. I begin and I humbly ask your forgiveness…’
“I’m so sorry I hurt so many people. I want to understand what it means to hold life and the country so precious and sacred that I would protect it with my life.
‘But not for me. But so I can teach it to the next generation after me. So that the pain ends with me. No longer.
The video went viral but has now been removed, with Upright apologizing three times
Alongside the video footage, Upright posted lengthy written apology messages
“I will do everything I can to be more aware of the land and the people who worked it every day,” he wrote. “Not just here, but everywhere.”
Upright’s triple apology now causes further irritation.
“All of this keeps you inflated,” read one reply online.
“Just shut up already. True humility is not so loud,” reads another post.
The State Department of Land and Natural Resources said the video “could certainly be considered culturally disrespectful,” but Upright will not face punishment because there are no state laws against urinating on sacred mountains.
His apologies are now angering online users, who are accusing him of taking it upon himself
Still, many who watched the original video of Upright relieving himself were upset by what they saw.
“This is very disrespectful of ‘aina, land and Native Hawaiian cultural practices here, including myself,'” Alfonso Kekuku, a Hawaiian resident and activist, told KITV.
“It was just the feeling of entitlement and privilege, it’s almost like, ‘I don’t care about my decisions or my actions here,’ and ‘I’m going to do whatever I’m going to do. I’ll do what I want,” Kekuku explained.
However, Kekuku was grateful for Upright’s apology.
“I’m very grateful that he was able to admit his ignorance and come forward to talk about how he screwed up,” Kekuku added.
“A lot of people moving here, tourists, current residents, should really educate themselves about cultural sensitivities,” he suggested.
At 13,795 feet, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the Hawaiian chain. The volcano is a “profoundly sacred place, regarded as a shrine of worship, home of the gods, and the peak of the island of Hawaii,” states the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on its website
In the past, the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) has attempted to teach visitors how to respect Hawaii during their stay, although Upright has lived on the island since birth.
“We will continue to do our part to encourage better behavior on our islands, in our communities, and especially in Wahi Pana, or sacred places,” the HTA said in a statement.
At 13,795 feet, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the Hawaiian chain.
The volcano is a “profoundly sacred place, regarded as a shrine of worship, home of the gods, and the peak of the island of Hawaii,” states the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on its website.
“Piko,” on the other hand, is a Hawaiian word meaning “the navel where life begins,” the National Park Service said.