posted by Benedict Townsend

“Charlottesville sort of gave me a little bit of perspective, because technically I got grouped in with these people somehow”

PewDiePie has announced that he will no longer be making Nazi jokes after the events that occurred in Charlottesville. A white supremacist rally turned violent, with an unarmed black man (DeAndre Harris) being beaten by a mob, and a woman (Heather Heyer) being run over and killed in the American city. Attendees were seen marching with torches chanting “blood and soil” – a Nazi slogan and some were carrying Nazi flags. Members of the mob also threatened to burn down a local synagogue.

Felix had come under fire for jokes he made about Nazis and Jews earlier this year – with the furore leading to his contract with Disney being terminated and the second season of his YouTube Red show being cancelled. Critics had argued that making light of issues like white supremacy only helps to normalise those concepts, something Felix denied at the time. Now, after witnessing the brazen displays of white nationalism at Charlottesville, he says he has changed his mind.

pewdiepie nazi

An image from Charlottesville, via ABC News


What has he said?

In a new video, Felix says “I remember back when everything happened in February, I was sort of like, ‘I mean, they’re just jokes. There’s not actual Nazis out there, what are you talking about?’ And then I look at this, and I’m like oh, I see. OK!” It seems he has come to understand the central point of the backlash against him, namely – that it’s not about him himself being a Nazi, but rather about acting in a way which emboldens actual nazis.

“I’m gonna stop doing it,” he said. “Nazi memes are not even that funny anymore. It’s sort of a dead meme. So, just to make it clear. No more. OK? It’s not me censoring myself, it’s more like, I don’t want to be a part of this.”

You can see his full video here: