YouTuber Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg has found himself on the receiving end of a rather cold shoulder from uncle Disney.
The House of Mouse has cut all ties with the internet sensation, following a wave of anti-Semitic content found on his channel.
The Wall Street Journal found that no less than nine of Kjellberg’s videos contained anti-Semitic imagery – we’re talking swastikas, Nazi salutes, and even the odd shot of Hitler.
PewDiePie – who has an eye watering 53 million subscribers to his channel – posted one video in which someone dressed as Jesus Christ said ‘Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong.’
The YouTuber also made use of a freelance site to pay a comedy duo to hold up a sign that read ‘Death to All Jews,’ while laughing. Does Kjellberg mean any of this? Almost certainly not.
Responding to the controversy, Kjellberg posted the following on Tumblr:
[I was] trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online. I picked something that seemed absurd to me—That people on Fiverr would say anything for five dollars. 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.
Disney’s partnership with Kjellberg was extended through Maker Studios, a video production company acquired by the company back in 2014.
A Maker Studios spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal:
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.
One might feel a little bad for PewDiePie, but it should be pretty clear at this point that making tasteless jokes about one of the darkest chapters of human history isn’t all that funny.
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.