Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has released a new video which addresses the New Zealand mosque shootings, which left more than 50 people dead earlier this year.
The attacker mentioned the popular YouTuber by name as he live-streamed the shooting, making references to the “Subscribe to PewDiePiew” movement – a nod to the race between Kjellberg and Bollywood studio T-Series, to become the most subscribed-to channel on YouTube.
In a tweet shared soon after the attack, Kjellberg said that he was “sickened” to have been named by the attacker, but never discussed it any further until now. You can watch the video below.
Kjellberg is now calling for his subscribers put the “Subscribe to PewDiePie” meme to rest for good, while finally discussing his own feelings and perspective on the uncomfortable link he has to the New Zealand attacker.
The reason it took so long for him to share his thoughts on the matter, Kjellberg claims, is because he didn’t want to make the attack about him, or give the terrorist any more attention.
To have my name associated with something so unspeakably vile has affected me in more ways than I’ve let show. I just didn’t want to address it right away, and I didn’t want to give the terrorist more attention. I didn’t want to make it about me, because I don’t think it has anything to do with me. To put it plainly, I didn’t want hate to win. But it’s clear to me now the ‘Subscribe to PewDiePie’ movement should have ended then.
Kjellberg also discussed some of the darker, hateful rhetoric that has surfaced as a result of the meme, as well as the diss tracks he made attacking T-Series. While Kjellberg has called out some of the racist remarks and actions carried out by his fans in the past – including the defacing of a World War II memorial in New York – others have pointed out he has made several racist jokes in previous videos.
Still, the YouTuber says he never intended to offend anyone, and that his diss tracks he made “in fun, ironic jest” were never supposed to be taken seriously. India’s High Court didn’t quite see it this way when they moved to block the diss track videos from being seen in the country, of course.
They were not meant to be taken seriously. This negative rhetoric is something I don’t agree with at all, and I want it to stop … and to make it perfectly clear: no, I’m not racist. I don’t support any form of racist comments or hate towards anyone.
The video ends with Kjellberg attempting to leave things on a more positive note, and calls out some of the more amazing things fans have done in his name, such as raise money for various charities in India and around the world.
When PewDiePie does hit 100 million subscribers, Kjellberg makes it clear he wants that to be seen as a celebration of his community, and not the defeat of another channel. In his eyes, “This movement started out of love and support, so let’s end it with that.”
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.