Felix Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie, the YouTube celebrity, who has over 53 millions subscribers on his channel has been dumped by Disney as video clips of the YouTuber categorized as anti-Semitic by Disney have been uncovered by the WSJ. PewDiePie had been working with Disney’s Maker Studios for the past months, but since the clips emerged all ties between PewDiePie and Maker Studios have been cut by the studio, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The uncovered video clips contain hateful graphics and comments. The clips feature PewDiePie watching a video of two freelancers he hired holding a sign that says “DEATH TO ALL JEWS”. PewDiePie also records himself watching a video of a man dressed as Jesus who says the following “Jesus here, just wanted to let you all know that Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong.” The Wall Street Journal also reported that PewDiePie also proceeded to criticize an Israel-Based freelancer website Fiverr for suspending the Jesus-dressed character’s account.
He is heard saying that he did not expect the freelancers to actually do what he had actually requested. According to Tech Crunch, he argued that he wanted to show what people do for money.
He is also seen dressed as a soldier while watching a video of Adolf Hitler. And in another occasion wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.
On a Tumblr post written on January 12, 2017 he said the following: “I picked something that seemed absurd to me—That people on Fiverr would say anything for 5 dollars.”, and “I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes.”, as well as “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.” and ultimately, referring to the freelancers, “I don’t support these people in any way”.
It is very important to note that even though PewDiePie’s content in the uncovered videos is perceived as offensive by a wide range of people, he also has a reputation among the YouTube community of being disrespectful with the intent of creating humor for the viewers. He has created an empire of people from many different backgrounds that support him.
Does PewDiePie deserve the benefit of the doubt? Is his content right for the people who it is aimed for? Kids who watch his gaming videos and teens who listen to his jokes. Is it right to allow everyone to watch these type of videos? Or should it be rated for a mature audience only? It is a complicated matter. Children watch all sort of things on the internet nowadays.