Maker Studios, the Disney-owned digital media brand housing some of the world’s most popular YouTubers, has said that Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has “gone too far” with his latest videos and that it will be dropping him from their roster of content creators.
Back in January, PewDiePie uploaded a video to his channel in which he was shown encouraging freelancers on the site Fiverr to hold up a sign reading “Death To All Jews.” Though PewDiePie intended the act as a joke, many failed to see the funny side, and his continued use of antisemitism as a comedy device even led to the alt-right believing he was trying to convert his young audience to fascism. Now Maker Studios, which previously owned PewDiePie’s own Revelmode production network, has announced that it has severed ties with the YouTuber.
In a report by the Wall Street Journal, the publication found that PewDiePie has posted nine videos featuring anti-Semitic jokes or Nazi imagery in the past six months, When confronted about PewDiePie’s recent content by WSJ, Maker Studios issued the following 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.”
PewDiePie’s recent comment has led to The Daily Stormer, one of the most prominent alt-right sites which frequently espouses racist and anti-Semitic views, making him their “poster boy,” with him appearing on its banner image alongside the caption “The world’s #1 PewDiePie Fansite.” In a post responding to Maker Studios’ decision titled ‘Disney Kikes Viciously Attack Pewdiepie for His Hatreds,’ the Daily Stormer wrote: “Jews have an instinctive hatred for all that is good in the world. As such, it was only a matter of time before they went after Pewdiepie in earnest.”
PewDiePie responded to criticisms of his videos on Sunday in a blog post, writing: “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.”
He continued: “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.”
He concluded: “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.”