Admittedly, I can’t stand YouTuber PewDiePie, but I know I’m in the minority since he has more subscribers than the entire population of Germany.
Yes, you read correctly, a YouTuber has more subscribers than the amount of people who currently occupy Germany, a fact which has well and truly astounded me this morning… and not in a good way.
Over the past few months, PewDiePie, real name Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, has been battling it out with T-Series, an Indian channel which mostly shares Bollywood music videos, to see who can become the most subscribed to channel.
With both channels begging people to hit the subscribe button, they’ve seen their popularity shoot up to incredible numbers.
At the time of writing (January 29), PewDiePie has 83,045,839 subscribers, taking the crown from T-Series, which has 82,815,106 subscribers.
As you can see, it’s a tight race:
PewDiePie, best known for his gaming videos, now has more subscribers than the entire population of Germany which, according to Worldometers, currently stands at 82,377,840.
While that in itself is quite the achievement, with the battle still raging, PewDiePie’s subscriber count is surely only going to increase?
If I’m being honest, I’ll never be able to get my head around the idea such an irritating and controversial YouTuber can be that popular.
As previously mentioned, PewDiePie has been at the centre of numerous controversies.
Most recently, in December 2018, he promoted an anti-Semitic YouTube channel called E;R, known as EsemicolonR.
At the end of a video, which has now been edited and reuploaded, PewDiePie gave shout-outs to various channels he was enjoying, including E;R which often features anti-Semitic, sexist, homophobic, and cruel content.
People online were quick to point this out with Hasan Piker writing on Twitter:
Yesterday PewDiePie ended #Subscribetopewdiepie in a video where he promoted some of his favorite channels. One of them was straight up a Neo-Nazi’s YouTube page where he makes video essays on children’s cartoons with added Nazi propaganda.
While I certainly agree with E;R’s assessment that live action animes are hot garbage, he’s still a crypto-fascist adding Hitler speeches and references to exterminating Jewish people in his comprehensive video essays.
yesterday pewdiepie ended #Subscribetopewdiepie in a video where he promoted some of his favorite channels. one of them was straight up a neo-nazi's yt page where he makes video essays on children's cartoons with added nazi propoganda https://t.co/KBIfpVdfXi
— Hasan Piker (@hasanthehun) December 10, 2018
In response, PewDiePie apologised for drawing attention to the channel, deleted the shout-out from his original video, and claimed he wasn’t aware of the vast majority of their content.
He explained in a follow-up video:
They have hidden Nazi references in their videos, obviously if I noticed that I wouldn’t have referenced him in the shout out.
Not because I have a problem with Nazi references being offensive in themselves, but because I said that I was going to distance myself from Nazi jokes. Generally, I’ve done that. I don’t really have a reason to dip into that again; it’s stupid.
As PewDiePie mentioned in his video, he’s been in trouble before over ‘Nazi jokes’.
Back in 2017, he decided to upload footage of two men holding a sign that read ‘death to all Jews’, something he paid them to do using the Fiverr Mobile app.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.