PewDiePie Strikes Back Over Media Criticism of Anti-Semitic Jokes
If you’re someone who follows internet news more than news in the real world, you’ll likely have learned by now that PewDiePie, real name Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, recently lost his YouTube Red show “Scare PewDiePie” over an anti-Semitic joke that he had put in a video.
PewDiePie is known by and large as one of the most successful YouTubers in the world, earning millions of dollars from his highly popular videos, Legend of the Brofist Releases This Summer and even had a game released in 2015. With his success, he’s also no stranger to controversy, and this incident is no different for him. The controversy started back in January when, as a joke, he reviewed the website “Fiverr”, which offers money for doing tasks. In this case, he put up a “job” that said “DEATH TO ALL JEWS”.
Several weeks later the Wall Street Journal found out about the incident and it blew up, to the point that Maker Studios, who helped him produce his YouTube Red series, dropped him from the network.
Since the incident has come up, PewDiePie has issued a statement that, while not apologizing, does attempt to explain his actions: that he mainly makes videos for the humor, instead of wanting to put in any sort of political commentary. While he doesn’t endorse the sorts of people that would take anti-Semitic ideas seriously, he does understand that his joke offended a number of people.
All the same, despite this controversy, it’s unlikely that he’ll stop making videos even if he has enough money to last the rest of his life; being only 27, he’s likely just getting started, and one relatively small gaffe like this isn’t going to keep him down for long.
And yet, at the same time, we can only hope that he’s learned his lesson on making these sorts of jokes for fear of offending other people, whether meant seriously or not.