YouTube favourite PewDiePie denies anti-Semitism accusations
YouTube’s highest paid videographer PewDiePie has come out fighting against accusations that he is anti-Semitic, just one day after Disney severed all ties with the Swede over alarm at his apparent beliefs.
Responding to Disney’s decision, PewDiePie described the move as ‘insane’ and ‘unfair’ arguing that offensive comments attributed to him had been taken out of context and were ‘blatantly misrepresented’.
PewDiePie, aka Felix Kjellberg, is believed to have earned $15m from YouTube in 2016 thanks to the immense popularity of his Let’s Play commentaries and vlogs but some of these were found to contain Nazi references and anti-Semitic material.
Defending his character in a direct appeal for his many YouTube fans to stand by him Kjellberg said: “I am sorry for the words I used as I know they offended people.
"I do strongly believe that you can joke about anything, but I also believe that there is a right way and not the best way to joke about things.”
Dismissing the anti-Semitism claim specifically as a media conspiracy to discredit him, despite one incident in which he paid two Indians $5 via a crowd-sourcing app to hold up a sign saying ‘Death to all Jews’.
Other instances of alleged far-right leanings include the display of swastikas, a rendition of the Nazi Party anthem and a Hitler salute, all of which have been dismissed by Kjellberg as jokes which got out of hand.
PewDiePie mounted a publicity stunt last year in which he threatened to delete his YouTube account after claiming that Google was moving against him by changing its algorithms to reduce his reach. In the end he simply deleted a disused secondary account.