PewDiePie responds to anti-Semitism controversy
A couple of days ago, the Disney-owned Maker Studios cut ties with Felix Kjellberg, better known as YouTube personality PewDiePie, for a series of videos featuring anti-Semitic gags and Nazi iconography. That's hardly the end of the story, however. Today, PewDiePie released a video titled "My Response," in which the media star admits that his "jokes" crossed a line, while still blaming the media—especially the Wall Street Journal—for his recent troubles.
PewDiePie begins by discussing the video that kicked off the latest controversy, in which PewDiePie used the company Fiverr to pay a pair of Indian comedians to hold a sign reading "Death to all Jews." "I wanted to reiterate that it was my intention to show just how stupid the website was and how far you can push it by paying $5," PewDiePie says. "I'm sorry for the words that I used, as I know they offended people. I admit that the joke itself went too far." PewDiePie admits that he is an "amateur comedian," and calls the entire event a learning experience.
PewDiePie adds, "I do strongly believe that you can joke about anything, but I also believe that there's a right way and not a best way to joke about things."
However, PewDiePie is less conciliatory towards the Wall Street Journal, which inadvertently led to the rift between PewDiePie and Maker Studios when they asked the company about PewDiePie's controversial material, thereby bringing the video to Maker Studios' attention. PewDiePie calls the Wall Street Journal's article "an attack by the media to try and discredit me, to try and decrease my influence and my economic worth," and claims that "old school media doesn't like Internet personalities because they're scared of us."
Finally, Kjellberg wrapped up his discussion of the press by saying, "I'm still making videos. Nice try, Wall Street Journal," and punctuated his sign-off with some less-than-savory language.
PewDiePie is, of course, the owner of the most-viewed YouTube channel in existence, and makes an estimated $15 million a year off of his self-made videos. PewDiePie rose to fame through his exaggerated reactions to video games, although he's branched out into more general comedy since then. He's no stranger to controversy, either—this is hardly the first time that the popular YouTuber has gone too far.