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California Security Guard Becomes Instagram Hit, Calls for ‘No Bullying’ After VidCon Incident

LOS ANGELES — A California security guard has become a social media star after a video that showed him staying calm while being berated with insults on Thursday went viral.

The incident happened at VidCon, an annual convention for YouTube fans and content creators, which took place at the Anaheim Convention Center from June 21-24, 2017. In the video, first uploaded to YouTube on June 22 and later posted to Twitter by VidCon attendee John Hill with subtitles, Joseph Hernandez, a security guard, is seen in his yellow and black uniform standing guard at a door following a physical altercation between some attendees and security.

In the video, Hernandez and his colleague Sergio Castillo ask the crowd to stand back just as a young man identified later as Christian Burns begins asking Hernandez, "What is wrong with you people?"

Burns, who has been referred to as an "Instagram model," continued, "I'm famous, and you're not, so you listen..."

Hernandez responded, "That doesn't make you any better than me."

Burns' confrontation continues for another minute as he insults Hernandez, shouting, "You're blue collar as f*ck," and "You should kill yourself."

NBC News has reached out to Hernandez about the incident.

On Saturday, travel vlogger Louis Cole found Hernandez at the convention center and apologized to Hernandez on behalf of the YouTube community. Cole also tweeted a video of him with Hernandez and asked his 877K+ Twitter followers to help spread the word to get Hernandez' Instagram account 100K followers — a response to Burns' comments that he was more famous than Hernandez.

"Let's show Joe how we respond as a community to the abuse he had to deal with," Cole tweeted.

As of Monday afternoon, Hernandez now has more than 66K followers on Instagram, with his posts receiving thousands of likes and comments from people thanking him for staying calm despite the harassment.

Burns' original Instagram account has since been deleted.

VidCon is currently in its eighth year in California, and draws thousands of creators and fans from around the world for the four-day convention. Since last year's fatal shooting of singer Christina Grimmie, who got her start on YouTube, VidCon staff has been outspoken about increasing security for the annual event.

In a video posted to YouTube, Hernandez and Castillo said they were just doing their job and that they've endured harassment before.

"This wasn't the first time I've been yelled at by someone who thinks they're better than me because of their money," Hernandez said.

On Sunday, Hernandez and Burns spoke for the first time by phone during an interview with Keemstar, who hosts "DramaAlert" on YouTube, where Burns apologized for the incident.

"I'm really sorry. I was literally in a bad place at that time. I was stressed out. I took this out all on you. I lashed out. I was a little bit intoxicated during that whole thing so I'm not saying that's an excuse but I kind of wanted to clear things up," Burns said, adding it wasn't meant to be directed toward Hernandez.

"You kind of did direct it toward me," Hernandez responded. "Ultimately, at the end of the day, you're a human being too. You made mistakes. And even though it sounds crazy that I'm being so forgiving, that's the kind of attitude I want to come off because I'm a forgiving person."

Both Hernandez and Castillo have posted on Instagram and Twitter since VidCon ended and encouraged people to treat each other with respect.

"Remember: no bullying, be positive, treat everyone alike. We're all equals here," Hernandez said in an Instagram video on Saturday.

"No bullying," Castillo echoed. "That's not something that's cool."

According to Hernandez's Instagram Stories, he and Castillo were up early the next day after VidCon ended for another day on the job.