He'd already been a bit on the skids after a combination of customer service issues (major backlogs for orders, orders continually being pushed back, etc.) and some dickish comments he made on Facebook about others stealing his designs. But today, he went a bit too far. The comment looks innocuous at first:
The comment is in reference to Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert of the metal band Cynic, who recently came out as gay; Paul is known for playing Strandberg guitars, which are headless. In case the connection wasn't totally clear, Per Nilsson, virtuoso guitarist for the metal band Scar Symmetry, replied thusly:
The shitstorm ensued from there, with Vik digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole with uglier comments, most of which he's since deleted. But, it was too late, and the reaction of the metal community was swift. Numerous artists who had affiliations with Vik Guitars immediately and publicly announced that they were cutting all ties to the company. Misha Mansoor of the band Periphery announced that he was cancelling a pending order and would no longer work with Vik. Adam "Nolly" Getgood, also from Periphery and who'd had a signature guitar from Vik, similarly voiced his condemnation of Vik's words and cut ties with the company.
Today, I'm proud to be a metalhead. The community took a clear stand against bigotry and fiercely condemned Vik's actions. Per Nilsson said it right:
It's mind-boggling to me how much effort people can spend on cultivating and expressing their bigotry, when love and compassion is a road much easier traveled!
More on the story from Metal Injection.