YouTube Cuts Ties with PewDiePie After Alleged Anti-Semitic Videos

Photo: James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock.
After the Wall Street Journal unearthed nine videos from YouTuber PewDiePie that allegedly contained anti-Semitic messages, YouTube and Disney are officially severing ties with the user.

The Swedish creator, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, has over 53 million subscribers on the platform and had partnered with both YouTube and Maker Studios, a division of Disney, on original content.

The videos in question, some of which have since been removed, include offensive content like a man dressed as Jesus Christ saying "Hitler did nothing wrong," and men holding up a sign that reads "Death to all Jews."

In a statement to the Wall Street Journal on Monday, Maker Studios said that “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."

Just a day later, People confirmed his scripted series, Scare PewDiePie, had been dropped. "We’ve decided to cancel the release of Scare PewDiePie Season 2 and we’re removing the PewDiePie channel from Google Preferred," a YouTube spokesperson told the outlet.

Kjellberg can continue making content on YouTube, but three of the offending videos have been removed by the user, and the remaining six have been demonitized by the company, meaning there are no longer ads that earn the creator money that play before or during the videos.

On February 12, Kjellberg responded to the brewing backlash.

"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 wrote in a blog post. "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."
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