Update 2/17/17: YouTuber PewDiePie has filmed a video in response to Disney severing ties with him. In short, he admits that the “joke” in the video discussed below went too far, but he blames the media for misrepresenting him. Take a look at the full video below for his response.
Maker Studios, a Disney owned company, has ended all ties to the popular YouTube celebrity PewDiePie on Monday, February 13th. PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, had reportedly posted nine videos with anti-Semitic imagery, according to the Wall Street Journal. One of the videos features two men who had been hired by PewDiePie making and holding a sign that read, “Death to All Jews.” Another video displays a man dressed as Jesus Christ stating that “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong.” Those two videos, along with a third, were removed by Kjellberg, after having already reached around 23 million views.
PewDiePie is one of YouTube’s most popular personalities. He reaches an audience of 53 million subscribers. His videos, usually centered around Kjellberg playing video games and adding commentary, have amassed almost 14.7 billion views. He was estimated to have earned $15 million last year, due in part to a YouTube Red subscription service as well as his book “This Book Loves You.”
Maker Studios has said in a statement, “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. Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward.” Maker Studios was purchased by Disney in 2014 for $500 million.
Kjellberg addressed the controversy surrounding his content on a Tumblr post on Sunday, saying, “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. Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.”
News source: The New York Times
Image source: Variety