Disney, YouTube Cut Ties with PewDiePie after Anti-Semitic Videos

Disney, YouTube Cut Ties with PewDiePie after Anti-Semitic Videos

Walt Disney and YouTube have cut ties with internet celebrity Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, following a series of anti-Semitic videos. The videos in question have been pulled down, but some date as far back as August 2016.

One video featured a pair of men in India holding up a sign that read “death to all Jews,” with Kjellberg reacting. Another featured a man dressed as Jesus Christ, saying “Hitlser did absolutely nothing wrong.” Both of these videos were created for, and paid by Kjellberg via online service Fiverr.

“Wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat from President Donald Trump’s campaign, Mr. Kjellberg used a photo of Hitler as a segue between clips,” the Wall Street Journal wrote in their original report (via Polygon). “Mr. Kjellberg says the material is portrayed in jest. He showed a clip from a Hitler speech in a Sept. 24 video criticizing a YouTube policy, posted swastikas drawn by his fans on Oct. 15 and watched a Hitler video in a brown military uniform to conclude a Dec. 8 video. He also played the Nazi Party anthem before bowing to a swastika in a mock resurrection ritual on Jan. 14, and included a very brief Nazi salute with a Hitler voice-over saying ‘Sieg Heil’ and the text ‘Nazi Confirmed’ near the beginning of a Feb. 5 video.”

Maker Studios – a division of Disney – cut ties with Kjellberg over the anti-Semitic jokes, removing all traces of him from their website. Kjellberg is one of the largest YouTube personalities, with over 53 million subscribers. He is still featured prominently on game key marketplace G2A, who sponsor him.

“Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case,” a representative of Maker Studios told the Wall Street Journal. “The resulting videos are inappropriate.”

YouTube has also cancelled Kjellberg's second videos series, which airs on premium service YouTube Red.

“We’ve decided to cancel the release of Scare PewDiePie Season 2,” a YouTube representative told Polygon, “and we’re removing the PewDiePie channel from Google Preferred.”

Kjellberg posted to Tumblr yesterday to address the issue.

“Some have been pointing to my videos and saying that I am giving credibility to the anti-Semitic movement,” he wrote. “ I was trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online.”

“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 continued. “… 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.”

We’ll update this story as it develops.



 

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Comments Comments (20)

 
Posted by 163Battery
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 12:39 PM
1
Stink. He will have to just retire on the millions he has already made haha. Never watched any of his videos. Anyone follow him? Is it just entertainment as he claims?
 
 
 
Posted by Outlaw213
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 1:37 PM
2
In all the time I've spent on YouTube, I don't think I've ever been able to complete any of his videos and have not seen his videos in years.

His target audience is mainly kids anyway.
 
 
 
Posted by guido
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 2:39 PM
4
Really?! I thought this was one of those super obvious line is obvious that you just don't cross?? Ever!?
 
 
 
Posted by FreddlePopGameS
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 3:11 PM
3
Never ever watched a single video from him. When being paid and supported by big companies, I'd imagine a little common sense would go into what type of content you'd distribute.
 
 
 
Posted by ThatUndeadLegacy
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 4:11 PM
2
I guess he will have to go cry with his millions of dollars.
 
 
 
Posted by ThatUndeadLegacy
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 4:12 PM
-
15 February 2017, 12:39 PM Reply to 163Battery
Stink. He will have to just retire on the millions he has already made haha. Never watched any of his videos. Anyone follow him? Is it just entertainment as he claims?
I think mainly children watch him, and a huge amount are people who subscribe just for the hell of it.
 
 
 
Posted by ChieftaiNZ
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 5:24 PM
1
I laughed, People need to lighten up sometimes and laugh. The only reason everything is doom and gloom now-a-days is because people have forgotten how to laugh.

It would be incredibly obvious to anyone that it was a joke when you learn that the same guys were also told to say "Subscribe to keemstar" in the same video.
 
 
 
Posted by jtbthatsme
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 5:33 PM
-
I've watched 2 or 3 of his clips again not fully and after that brief clip above I can understand why some places have cancelled his services. Bit of a stupid move on his behalf. Maybe one time you'll get away with things like that but several times is going to make it easy for some to see that maybe he just isn't making the joke as he claims he intended.
 
 
 
Posted by Dvst8u
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 6:19 PM
1
15 February 2017, 05:33 PM Reply to jtbthatsme
I've watched 2 or 3 of his clips again not fully and after that brief clip above I can understand why some places have cancelled his services. Bit of a stupid move on his behalf. Maybe one time you'll get away with things like that but several times is going to make it easy for some to see that maybe he just isn't making the joke as he claims he intended.
while it is a touchy subject , and being someone from my generation will fully not understand it , but i am a subscriber and watch maybe every second video of his , i watched said videos and at the time i didnt think too much of them , but i can see why they have cut ties. i can see his sort of...way he delivers his points and views and it needs to be taken with a grain of salt....the blonde hair isnt a great look tho....
 
 
 
Posted by emetic
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 6:27 PM
2
15 February 2017, 02:39 PM Reply to guido
Really?! I thought this was one of those super obvious line is obvious that you just don't cross?? Ever!?
Lols yup. What an unprofessional.
 
 
 
Posted by toner
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 6:51 PM
1
15 February 2017, 05:24 PM Reply to ChieftaiNZ
I laughed, People need to lighten up sometimes and laugh. The only reason everything is doom and gloom now-a-days is because people have forgotten how to laugh.

It would be incredibly obvious to anyone that it was a joke when you learn that the same guys were also told to say "Subscribe to keemstar" in the same video.
It may be obvious to you and I, but it might not be obvious to the millions of kids that are his audience. Kids who could be mis-impressioned into thinking' "hey, anti-semitism is funny!" and takes it in the wrong direction.

Don't forget, he used that anti-semitism theme in a few of his videos, which may leave lasting impressions on some people.
 
 
 
Posted by Paorio
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 7:54 PM
3
This is just dumb, a lot of journalists are a***oles who take things out of context to make their story all dramatic and pull in the views. Even though pewdiepie is rich, would you like it if you had a small joke turn into something that loses you money.
 
 
 
Posted by ChieftaiNZ
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 9:16 PM
1
15 February 2017, 06:51 PM Reply to toner
It may be obvious to you and I, but it might not be obvious to the millions of kids that are his audience. Kids who could be mis-impressioned into thinking' "hey, anti-semitism is funny!" and takes it in the wrong direction.

Don't forget, he used that anti-semitism theme in a few of his videos, which may leave lasting impressions on some people.
Its actually a genuinely funny video if you don't get offended easily.
 
 
 
Posted by ChieftaiNZ
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 9:16 PM
1
No one has pointed this out.

BUT LOL DISNEY CUTTING TIES OVER ANTI SEMITISM,
DISNEY
OF ALL COMPANIES.
 
 
 
Posted by ptys
On Wednesday 15 Feb 2017 10:47 PM
1
Wow interesting.
 
 
 
Posted by cortez72
On Thursday 16 Feb 2017 10:57 AM
3
15 February 2017, 09:16 PM Reply to ChieftaiNZ
No one has pointed this out.

BUT LOL DISNEY CUTTING TIES OVER ANTI SEMITISM,
DISNEY
OF ALL COMPANIES.
I think Walt's history determines how carefully the company needs to tread with issues like these.

Can't stand PewDiePie myself, don't get the appeal. Too old I guess.
 
 
 
Posted by toner
On Thursday 16 Feb 2017 11:39 AM
3
15 February 2017, 09:16 PM Reply to ChieftaiNZ
Its actually a genuinely funny video if you don't get offended easily.
I get that it's funny, but with a young audience he could make the wrong impressions, offence be damned. And after seeing some of his videos, they can be misconstrued by kids as saying "hey, making fun of Jews dying is okay."
 
 
 
Posted by Deanology
On Friday 17 Feb 2017 12:27 PM
2
I don't watch him, or like him really.
However, this whole saga has been a load of b*llocks.
Everything has been taken way out of context, from my knowledge.
He did some silly things, but what is being reported my the media has been cherry-picked sentence to sentence, neglecting the fact that he is acting completely in satire.
 
 
 
Posted by Mockstar
On Friday 17 Feb 2017 12:45 PM
2
17 February 2017, 12:27 PM Reply to Deanology
I don't watch him, or like him really.
However, this whole saga has been a load of b*llocks.
Everything has been taken way out of context, from my knowledge.
He did some silly things, but what is being reported my the media has been cherry-picked sentence to sentence, neglecting the fact that he is acting completely in satire.
^ So much this
 
 
 
Posted by kiwibadboy
On Friday 17 Feb 2017 8:00 PM
2
lol so many people offended by what is obviously sarcasm. The fact that grown adults are calling him a Nazi is a testament to how far PC has come. Maybe youtube should implement trigger warnings.