YouTube star PewDiePie has been canned after some of his anti-Semitic jokes were discovered.
YouTube, Disney, and its entertainment firm Maker Studios cut ties with the famous vlogger — whose real name is Felix Kjellberg — after finding that several of his videos contained Nazi imagery and anti-Semitic wise cracks, Mashable reports.
“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,’’ a Maker Studios spokeswoman said in a statement. “Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward.”
One of these inappropriate clips includes a video he posted just last month of two shirtless men laughing while displaying a banner that reads, “Death to all Jews.” Another features a man dressed as Jesus Christ saying, “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong.”
Clearly, this isn’t a matter of YouTube and Disney being overly sensitive or too politically correct, the anti-Semitism is rather blatant.
YouTube announced in a statement that PewDiePie — its most-subscribed channel with more than 53 million followers — is no more.
“We’ve decided to cancel the release of ‘Scare PewDiePie’ season 2, and we’re removing the PewDiePie channel from Google Preferred,” a spokesperson for YouTube said.
Kjellberg built a very lucrative career from his vlogging. Forbes magazine estimated that he had earned $15 million in the year that ended last June, the New York Times reports.
He addressed the controversy in a Tumblr post:
“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 said. He added: “Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.”
An apology asserting that your intentions weren’t malicious seems to be the standard ingredient for a statement from anyone who is caught doing something egregious, which, needless to say, diminishes the sincerity.
Nevertheless, his insensitive jokes have cost him his career and likely numerous fans.
The internet has enough trolls spreading hate for free; we don’t need another one getting paid millions to do it.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, camknows