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Disney Maker Studios' drops most subscribed YouTuber Pewdiepie over a slew of anti-Semitic videos


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

February 14, 2017 | 4 min read

YouTube’s most subscribed personality PewDiePie has been dropped by Disney’s influencer house, Maker Studios, over offensive videos entitled ‘Death To All Jews’ and 'Hitler Did Absolutely Nothing Wrong' - despite the influencer later removing the content and admitting it gave "credibility to the anti-Semitic movement".

Pewdiepie video

Content that spurred Maker Studios' decision

​The first video in question (pictured), published 11 January saw the personality pay two men to hold a sign reading 'Death To All Jews', all part of a supposed social experiment, claims the artist. This was a step too far for Maker Studios which had previously allowed its top earner to maintain a degree of independence.

The Wall Street Journal reports that PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg) posted at least nine videos containing anti-Semitic content. Many of these videos were championed by hate-mongering sites.

Maker Studios acknowledged the star's humour can be provocative but insisted that he had went too far with the anti-Semitic material, a spokesperson said: “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."

The personality’s irreverent humour has landed him in trouble before, he was banned from Twitter for a time for a joke about Isis.

Here's his statement in full: "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.

"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.

"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 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."

PewdiePie would have been one of the main draws to Disney over its $675m acquisition of Maker Studios in 2014, the partnership appears to have been terminated by the media giant now however.

The irreverent YouTube personality and gamer has previously toyed with the media over reports he is quilting YouTube, a move which turned out to be an elaborate prank. Kjellberg’s latest video, entitled ‘Who Do People Hate’ does not mention the incident.

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