Disney’s Maker Studios have discontinued their deal with YouTube sensation PewDiePie after a series of anti-Semitic video posts on his channel. Citing differences in a (now-deleted) 11 January video that allegedly had PewDiePie hiring two men from a Freelancer site Fiverr to hold up a sign that read “Death to All Jews.”
PewDiePie, otherwise known as Felix Kjellberg in real life, signed a partnering deal with Maker in 2014 with the idea of branching out a platform that would allow PewDiePie and his friends to create videos, games, apps and merchandises. This entertainment network is known as Revelmode.
A spokeswoman for Maker said, “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.”
In the Death To All Jews video, PewDiePie reportedly said, “I didn’t think they would actually do it.” PewDiePie then implored for Fiverr to un-ban the two Indian men who were not in the know about the meaning of the message. The Indian men apologised in a video but were ultimately banned by Fiverr.
YouTube, however, remained silent on the issue with PewDiePie being one of the biggest brands in YouTube with over 53 million subscribers and the highest-paid star with USD15 million made last year. PewDiePie’s channel is also known to be the top grossing channel on YouTube, bringing in major bucks on advertising and partnership deals, and is one of the very rare YouTube personalities to cross over into the mainstream. He had joined The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as a guest in late 2015 and has been mobbed and followed by TMZ cameras around Los Angeles.
PewDiePie, as of today, has taken down three videos. But YouTube did not remove any of the vlogs from the site despite the platform’s policy of banning any video that “promotes or condones violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin (or) religion.” YouTube’s strange policy also states that “If content is intended to be provocative or satirical, it may remain online,” and “If the uploader’s intent is to incite violence or hatred, it will be removed,” which is absurd as how are we to know the intentions of a man behind a screen?
The Swede then took to Tumblr to address the issue:
“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.”
Understandably, he is an entertainer and viewers may have discredited his sense of humour with political correctness. But Pewdiepie’s brand has always been offensive.
With all that is going on, the Pewds has got to be ready and face the consequences with the remarks he have made.
Cringe at PewDiePie’s videos here.