Well, you probably could’ve picked this one coming from a mile-off.
Insanely popular YouTube guy and professional shouter-into-microphone PewDiePie has been quickly and mercilessly binned from a Disney-owned content production company, after he posted videos to his YouTube channel containing some really questionable lines about Judaism.
Maker Studios, with whom the man born Felix Kjellberg was collaborating on media brand REVELMODE and app Tuber Simulator, confirmed they’d removed him from their roster of talent in the wake of a series of videos appearing, and then disappearing, from PewDiePie’s channel.
The Wall Street Journal notes that three videos, uploaded on January 11, 17, and 22 respectively, all contained anti-semitic references, and have all since been removed.
One video in particular saw PewDiePie hire two men in India via the freelancing service Fiverr and got them to hold up a sign reading “Death to all Jews.” Another featured a man dressed as Jesus Christ who remarked “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong.”
The WSJ also notes that six other videos posted by PewDiePie since last August contained anti-semitic slurs or sentences.
The deal Kjellberg had with Maker Studios reportedly allowed him full editorial and creative control, but quite unsurprisingly there’s a difference between “total creative freedom” and “very very very very very very bad attempts at comedy.”
Maker Studios were quick to distance themselves from Kjellberg, asserting that that was not the kind of content they wanted to be associated with.
“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.”
The two Indian men who made the initial video stated that they had no idea what they were actually saying when they accepted the Fiverr request.
PewDiePie himself attempted to defend or write-off his comments as “jokes” that were intended to “show how crazy the modern world is” in a Tumblr post detailing the situation.
“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.
Thanks for reading.”
And yet, those videos were still uploaded, and were online until people started to revolt.
To quote the great Pixelated Boat:
The whole internet loves Milkshake Duck, a lovely duck that drinks milkshakes! *5 seconds later* We regret to inform you the duck is racist
— Pixelated Boat (@pixelatedboat) June 12, 2016
Photo: Vincent Sandoval/Getty.