The world’s most popular YouTuber, PewDiePie, AKA Felix Kjellberg, AKA that fella who is famous for reasons your parents will never understand no matter how many times you explain it to them, has managed to embroil himself in a fresh racism row.
Kjellberg, who currently boasts over 76 million subscribers, recently found himself in hot water during the ending of a new upload, where he was giving shout outs to a bunch of other YouTube channels that he’s enjoying right now.
Here’s the neo-nazi Youtube channel PewDiePie, Ben Shapiro, Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson endorsed. The channel glorifies Hitler’s speeches, embedding nazi propaganda into children’s cartoons. pic.twitter.com/13c1wRwcuh
— Nathan Bernard (@nathanTbernard) December 10, 2018
While a massive YouTuber drawing attention to smaller channels is usually a great idea and a nice gesture, the problem here is that one of the channels he highlighted is called E;R (known as EsemicolonR).
If you aren’t familiar (and it’s reasonable to assume you aren’t) E;R often features anti-Semitic, sexist, homophobic, and downright cruel content and language. Kjellberg said in his original upload that E;R do great video essays, and that he really enjoyed one that they’d done on Death Note.
Kjellberg has since apologised for drawing attention to the channel and removed the shout out from his original upload, claiming that 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.
This isn’t the first time Kjellberg has found himself in trouble over this sort of thing. 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 app.
His argument for that was that he was “trying to show how crazy the modern world is”. Crazily enough, this stunt cost him his relationships with a number of companies, including Disney.
While it certainly seems like Kjellberg is trying to change, he needs to remember just how much reach an influence he actually has. With that kind of responsibility, you might want to vet the channels you’re shouting out a little more throughly.
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.