YouTube and Disney’s Maker Studios have chosen to step away from Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg after he posted a series of antisemitic videos.
The Wall Street Journal reports that one such video that caught the attention was of two men holding up a sign saying “Death to All Jews” to which PewDiePie “Reacts.” The two men were hired through freelance services site, Fiverr who has also banned all three from using the site again.
Maker Studios commented
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. Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward.
YouTube, on the other hand, cancelled the second season of Scare PewDiePie, a premium show which attempts to scare the YouTube screamer in real life using video game-inspired methods. He has also been dropped from Google Preferred, an advertising service for “brand-safe” content. He will still be able to monetize his videos through usual advertising means although he has previously mentioned that is normal income is low due to his brand of ‘edgy’ humour.
On his Tumblr page, PewDiePie addressed the situation
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 goes on to say
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.
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.
Kjellberg later posted on Twitter asking Fiverr to reinstate the accounts of the two actors.
— pewdiepie (@pewdiepie) January 16, 2017
Maker Studios website still lists PewDiePie’s REVELMODE brand as well as PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator app on their main page.