Disney drops YouTuber PewDiePie over anti-Semitic videos
Disney has expunged its connections with Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, one of YouTube’s wealthy megastars, after several of his videos came into question for its anti-Semitic messages.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Maker Studios, a multi-channel branch of Disney, cut its ties with PewDiePie after his now-defunct YouTube video showed two Indian men holding a placard that read, “Death to All Jews.” PewDiePie reportedly hired the duo from freelance site Fiverr, but reasoned that he “didn’t think they’d actually do it.” Both men apologized but Fiverr barred all three of them from their services.
The 27-year-old Swedish YouTuber, who currently has 53 million YouTube subscribers, has eight other videos that have spun anti-Semitic contents since last year. Another clip he uploaded features a man dressed as Jesus Christ blurting out, “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong.”
“Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate,” a representative of Maker Studios told the news site.
While many are disgruntled with PewDiePie’s shenanigans, he earned the kudos of neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer, which rephrased its motto to “The world’s #1 PewDiePie fansite” last month, The Wall Street said.
In defense, PewDiePie clarified in a Tumbler post that he was not supporting hateful speech and irrational movements on the video-streaming site.
“I think it’s important to say something and I want to make one thing clear: I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes,” he said. “I make videos for my audience. I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary. I know my audience understand that and that is why they come to my channel. Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.”
He added: “As laughable as it is to believe that I might actually endorse these people, to anyone unsure on my standpoint regarding hate-based groups: No, I don’t support these people in any way.” Gianna Francesca Catolico
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.