Disney ends deal with YouTube star PewDiePie over Nazi imagery and jokes

Feb 16, 2017, 00:14
Disney ends deal with YouTube star PewDiePie over Nazi imagery and jokes

It was in 2014 that Kjellberg became a part of Disney after the media giant's acquisition of Maker Studios, a business that represents YouTube artists.

Hours after Disney announced they would no longer be affiliated with PewDiePie (AKA Felix Kjellberg), YouTube announced that they had cancelled his show and removed him from its premium advertising program.

Kjellberg took to Tumblr to clarify the videos with the two men holding the "Death to all Jews" sign, writing that the clips were made "to show how insane the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online."He added that he is in "no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes" and that he makes videos for his audience". One video from January shows two Indian men paid by Kjellberg to hold up a sign that says "Death to all Jews". Although often criticized, these guidelines are meant for preventing content creators from including "controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown".

So what does this bode for YouTube's biggest star? probably not a whole lot, considering he has quite a bit of focus on his own network, Revelmode. His main channel now has 53 million subscribers and the Journal cites research suggesting he made $9.2 million in ad revenue off of content in 2016, beating out celebrities on the platform including Justin Bieber and Rihanna. The Swedish YouTube star rose to fame by posting videos of him playing and commenting about video games.

The biggest story on the online video industry's collective mind is the recent controversy surrounding the headline-making YouTube star PewDiePie.

In one of the videos, now deleted, Kjellberg said, "We're going to have to start separating what is a joke, and what is actually problematic", according to the Journal.

Fiverr, the Tel Aviv-based company through which Kjellberg used to enlist men to do the performances, has reportedly suspended his account, alongside the people Kjellberg paid.

In the past few months, edgy humor on TV and the internet that toes the line between "anti-comedy" and hate speech has come under a microscope. Although he admitted the jokes were ultimately offensive, he said that it was not his intention.

What do you think of PewDiePie's anti-semitic videos?