Renowned as the highest-earning YouTube star, Swedish Internet personality PewDiePie is in some hot water after he allegedly posted several anti-Semitic videos, resulting in Disney dropping its multimillion-dollar deal with the 27-year-old (real name: Felix Kjellberg).
First reported by The Wall Street Journal, Disney has severed all ties with Kjellberg after he posted 11 videos to his 53 million subscribers that contained anti-Semitic content, including a Jan. 11 video that included two laughing men holding a banner reading “Death to all Jews.” Other videos, reports WSJ, featured anti-Semitic comments and Nazi imagery.
WSJ has a video of the anti-Semitic content, but be forewarned that it contains graphic content and language that many will find offensive to watch:
The controversy led Disney-owned Maker Studios to cut all ties with the YouTuber. “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,” reads a statement from a Maker spokesperson. “Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward.”
With more than 53 million subscribers and more than 17 billion views of his videos, Kjellberg is YouTube’s biggest personality, and he defended himself in a Tumblr post.
“It came to my attention yesterday that some have been pointing to my videos and saying that I am giving credibility to the anti-Semitic movement, and my fans are part of it as well for watching. I don’t want to cite the sources because I don’t want to give them any more attention,” he writes.
“This originated from a video I made a couple of weeks ago. I was trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online. I picked something that seemed absurd to me — That people on Fiverr would say anything for 5 dollars,” he added.
“I think it’s important to say something and I want to make one thing clear: I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes,” he continued.
“I make videos for my audience. I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary,” he wrote. “I know my audience understands that and that is why they come to my channel. Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.
He concluded: “As laughable as it is to believe that I might actually endorse these people, to anyone unsure on my standpoint regarding hate-based groups: No, I don’t support these people in any way.”
Following the Wall Street Journal‘s report, a defiant Kjellberg responded with an 11-minute NSFW video rant in which he rails against the WSJ declaring “I’m still here.”
He adds: “I’m still making videos. Nice try, Wall Street Journal. Try again, motherf***ers,” at which point he kisses his middle finger. ” “Old-school media does not like internet personalities because they’re scared of us.”
Watch — but be forewarned, his video contains lots of profanity: