PewDiePie, the YouTube alias of Felix Kjellberg, has come under fire for anti-semitic and bigoted comments and material on his popular YouTube video series — and has been let go from his contracts with Disney and YouTube.
The Wall Street Journal compiled some of the most brazen comments (the video can be seen here) including Felix paying people from another country $5 to open up a sign that says "Death to All Jews", having a man in a Jesus costume say "Hitler was right", dressing up in a German officer's uniform, ironically use swastikas and imagery of Adolf Hitler and saying "The Jews have found another way to fuck over Jesus", a reference to the anti semitic idea that Jesus was killed by Jews rather than the Romans.
For these comments and others (including one where Felix pretended to join ISIS), he has been dropped by Disney's Maker Studio and YouTubeRed. Disney's Maker Studio was producing Felix's YouTube Red series Scare PewDiePie, and it will do so no longer, along with no longer expanding Kjellberg's network ". Additionally, YouTube has dropped Felix Kjellberg from its "Preferred Premium Advertising Program putting a severe hit into Felix's income.
This is very progressive for a user generated website, which historically have had a hard time dealing with the uptick in hate speech on the internet. While Kjellberg might try to play off these comments as "playful" or "ironic", in doing so he is engaging in a popular tactic of those who spread hateful messages — pretending they do not mean them, but letting the message hit those who agree with them. Much of hate speech begins ironically and evolves to be more brazen, and we only have to look at the alt right support and rise of Donald Trump for a recent example of this, and the fact that hate website, The Daily Stormer,. listed itself as the #1 PewDiePie fansite it a clear sign his comments are resonating with hate groups.
Felix Kjellberg has remained silent on this, with just the Tweet below popping up. More on this story as it develops.
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