Rather recently Felix Kjellberg, otherwise known as Pewdiepie, played a prank on his YouTube channel. In this prank, he paid two boys to deliver a message reading “Death to all Jews”. Since then Maker Studios, owned by Disney, has dropped Felix’s channel for the controversial video. Recently, Variety reported that a YouTube spokesperson said that they are cancelling Felix’s show on YouTube Red called “Scare Pewdiepie” and removing his channel from Google Preferred. This means that they no longer consider his channel to be “brand-safe”. Since then, Felix has stated that he does not condone hate-based groups, and he does not use his channel to convey political opinions, but rather to give entertainment to his audience.
Nevertheless, this has prompted a number of responses from people overreacting, as one can expect. From Sarah Silverman to JK Rowling, everyone is taking turns berating Felix for what Felix called, “trying to show how crazy the modern world is”. The YouTube star also said “I didn’t think they would actually do it” after the video occurred.
Clearly, Maker Studios is overreacting. However, in this new culture of “who’s racist”, “who’s sexist”, and “who’s a Nazi”, it doesn’t surprise me that they would go down this route. People are so scared of being seen as one of the tree “who’s” that even jokes are taken seriously. Now, do I think the joke is funny? No, it’s not my kind of a joke, but I also think he has a right to make a joke of that caliber. Considering that Felix holds no actual hatred towards any particular group, and he does not condone hatred of any variety, there is no harm in a joke, even if it’s not funny.
Furhtermore, what really bothers me is a certain double standard Disney seems to have about this brand of controversial topic. Considering they regularly hire Sarah Silverman, an actress/comedian who dresses up as Hitler, wears Blackface, and makes casual jokes about child molestation. Disney doesn’t seem to let that bother them, as Sarah Silverman appears to be booked for the next Wreck-it Ralph movie.
What I see in this situation is that Felix is another victim to the trap that is political correctness. Another case of “Do as I say, not what I do”. Nevertheless, this is how society works now, apparently. It’s a shame that our entertainment industry is so thin-skinned that a single joke can get as much coverage as this has. Honestly, if you are looking for serious political commentary (or anything serious at all, for that matter), then Felix’s channel is probably not the place to go.
I was subscribed to Pewdiepie for the longest time back in the day, and the idea that this situation has gotten this far without one of these critics thinking twice about it is almost maddening. I’ve reached out to Felix to try to talk to him about it, but I’ve yet to hear back from him. I wish him all the best, and I hope he’s able to keep content flowing for his fans without this fiasco putting up a block on his creativity.
And with that said, what´s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
Robin Ek – Editor and co-writer
Sources and resources:
Pewdiepie on Twitter
Pewdiepie´s blog post
Wall Street Journal
The New York Times Magazine
One Angry Gamer
Paul Joseph Watson
Elvis the Alien
Is PewDiePie a Racist? – h3h3Productions
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers’ (nor The Gaming Ground’s) opinions.
I am subscribed to Pewdiepie at this time.
The Gaming Ground
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