It might not be news to you anymore, but PewDiePie has been embroiled in a ton of controversy in recent months surrounding his “Death To All Jews” video. In addition to getting two Fiverr users banned for holding up the racist sign, and using multiple examples of antisemitic imagery in his videos, Walt Disney Studios has cut PewDiePie from their network and eradicated all trace of their partnership from their website.
The story was broken by the Wall Street Journal when Disney spoke to them about the network cuts. A Maker Studios spokesperson had the following to say about their involvement with PewDiePie: “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“.
At the time of writing, three videos (including the “Death To All Jews” video) have been removed from Felix’s channel.
The Wall Street Journal created this montage video below, featuring a reel of antisemitic jokes and behaviours PewDiePie has exhibited since late 2016.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]
Here’s a short breakdown of some of the things Felix has done in videos to cause wide controversy, and the eventual breakdown of his relationship with Disney:
- Seen wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat from Trump’s campaign
- Uses photos of Hitler as “segues” between clips
- Showed a brief clip of Hitler’s speech in September whilst criticising YouTube policies
- Posted swastikas drawn by fans on October 15th
- Watched a Hitler video, dressed in a military uniform, in a “mock resurrection ritual” on January 14th
- Briefly Nazi saluted with Hitler voiceover “Sieg Heil” and the words “Nazi Confirmed” on February 5th
On Tumblr, PewDiePie has fiercely defended his humour and the fact that these images have been used for “entertainment”. Nevertheless, the response from the online antisemitic community has been shocking. The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, named itself the “world’s #1 PewDiePie fan site” and thanked him for “making the masses comfortable with our ideas”.
On the topic of the split, Felix hasn’t released a specific comment about his situation or how his own network, Revelmode, are affected. YouTube have not passed comment either on the nine PewDiePie videos in question, and G2A (a game key marketplace) are still supporting Felix on their website.
As the world reacts to the news of the largest YouTuber being dropped by his network for antisemitism, PewDiePie has become a trending topic across Twitter and Facebook. At the time of writing, his last public statement simply said “#resistpewdiepie”. His aforementioned Tumblr post acknowledges that the “jokes were ultimately offensive”, but takes no stance on apologising for his actions.
UPDATE: YouTube have cancelled Scare PewDiePie season two following this controversy and have removed him from their Google Preferred program, where creators are taken to brands and advertisers.