Disney cut all ties with the holder of the record number of subscribers on Youtube, after he published a clearly nit-Semitic video.
Pewdiepie, with 53 million subscribers to his channel, is the most followed user of the platform. However, following his publication of several controversial videos the Swedish youtuber lost his contract with Maker Studios, the subsidiary of Disney, which manages the monetization of many famous youtubers.
Pewdiepie, who mainly devoted himself to video games and humorous videos, had published a video in mid-January in which he paid two people for dancing and holding a sign bearing the inscription “Death to all Jews”. Another video featured a clip of a man dressed as Jesus saying that “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong”.
This incident is far from isolated. According to the Wall Street Journal, since August, Pewdiepie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, has used nine images of swastikas or antisemitic references in his videos.
“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,” said a spokesman for Maker Studios.
The young man defended himself, saying “I picked something that seemed absurd to me—That people on Fiverr would say anything for 5 dollars,” he continued. “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.”
“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. I know my audience understand 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 added.
Pewdiepie’s revenues are estimated at around 14 million euros per year, according to Forbes magazine. A substantial part of this amount came from the youtube contract with Maker Studios.
Arthur Renier, IEJ 3D