Well, things have come full circle.
PewDiePie, the insanely popular YouTuber who made $15 million last year from shouting into a camera, has apologised for the anti-semitic ‘jokes’ that led to Disney dropping him like a hot potato and YouTube booting him off its premium advertising service.
“I’m sorry for the words that I used, as I know they offended people, and I admit that the joke itself went too far,” he said in a new video titled ‘My Response‘. “I do strongly believe that you can joke about anything, but I also believe – there’s a right way, and not the best way to joke about things. I love to push boundaries, but I would consider myself a rookie comedian, and I’ve definitely made mistakes like this before.”
Earlier this year, PewDiePew – who IRL is 27-year-old Swede Felix Kjellberg – paid two Indian blokes on Fiverr to hold up a sign that read “Death To All Jews“. The incident blew up, and prompted Wall Street Journal to look into where else he had made anti-semitic jokes. The paper approached Disney, which owns Maker Studios, the production company PewDiePie was making a TV show with, about the content, which lead to Disney cutting ties with the YouTuber altogether.
Because of this, PewDiePie spent most of his response video railing against the media.
He also claimed ‘the media’ took many of his Nazi and Hitler references out of context, e.g. where he asked fans to stop using Swastikas within a game, or where he railed against YouTube for adopting a “Nazi scheme” (and used a clip of a Hitler speech to make his point).
It follows a Tumblr post two days ago, after he learned that neo-Nazi groups considered him a hero (yikes):
It came to my attention yesterday that some have been pointing to my videos and saying that I am giving credibility to the anti-Semitic movement, and my fans are part of it as well for watching. I don’t want to cite the sources because I don’t want to give them any more attention.
This originated from a video I made a couple of weeks ago. I was trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online. I picked something that seemed absurd to me—That people on Fiverr would say anything for 5 dollars.
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.
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.
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.
Towards the end of the video, PewDiePie got a bit emotional, before rallying once more to drive home his attack on the WSJ:
“I’m still here, I’m still making videos. Nice try, Wall Street Journal. Try again, motherfuckers.”
Photo: PewDiePie / YouTube.