Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has some stern words for the media.
Earlier this week, both Disney and Google made the decision to sever ties with popular YouTube personality Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg due to content in his videos. Scare PewDiePie was a collaboration between Disney’s Maker Studios and The Walking Dead parent company Skybound Entertainment. Maker Studios cut ties with PewDiePie, while YouTube canceled his show.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, nine of PewDiePie’s videos allegedly contained anti-semitic imagery. One in particular shows two men holding a “Death to all Jews” sign, commissioned by the YouTube star.
“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,” said a spokeswoman for Maker Studios.
“We’ve decided to cancel the release of Scare PewDiePie Season 2 and we’re removing the PewDiePie channel from Google Preferred,” a YouTube spokesperson said.
On February 12, Kjellberg penned a Tumblr post in which he explained the “Death to all Jews” video. In the post, Kjellberg stated that the video was created in order to “show how crazy the 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,” Kjellberg wrote. “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.” The post concluded with Kjellberg stating that he does not support hate-based groups “in any way.”
In a video posted to YouTube today (above), Kjellberg addressed the issue, apologizing for the jokes while also criticizing the media for its coverage of the controversy – specifically, the way in which it was covered.
“I just want to reiterate that my intention was just to show how stupid the website is and how far you can push it by paying five dollars,” he said in reference to the “Death to all Jews” video. “I’m sorry for the words that I used, as I know that they offended people. And I admit that the joke itself went too far.”
“I do strongly believe that you can joke about anything, but I also believe that there’s a right way and not the best way to joke about things, and I love to push boundaries.” Kjellberg stated that he loves to push boundaries and considers himself a “rookie comedian,” and has “definitely made mistakes like this before,” but that he considers situations like these to be learning experiences.
While Kjellberg acknowledged that he may have gone overboard with some of his jokes, he also offered a stern criticism of the media for, in his opinion, taking things out of context. Kjellberg stated that he doesn’t believe he can joke about whatever he wants without consequences, but that the coverage of his videos was portrayed untruthfully. One example Kjellberg gave was a video in which he joked that the YouTube Heroes program seemed “basically like a nazi scheme,” adding an included clip of a Hitler speech. He says that the coverage of that video didn’t accurately portray what the video was about.
Another example was a video that Kjellberg said he made about how the media takes the things he does out of context, and said the report took the last part of that video, in which he dressed up in a soldier outfit and watched a Hitler speech, out of context. “They ignored the whole part about me talking about context and they took that part and put it out of context,” he said.
He also called out reporting of a video of his game, in which other people created swastikas. In that video, entitled “Stop Doing This,” he appeared to be laughing but somewhat frustrated by the appearance of the swastikas. “Do you know how many f*cking hoops we have to go through to make sure the game won’t be censored because people will make sh*t like this?” he said of one of the fan-made swastika creations. “Oh for f*ck’s sake,” he said of another one before passing over it.
Kjellberg said that he believes that the way the controversy has been reported on has been an attack on him in order to discredit him and limit his influence. “This form of cherry-picking just shows it so clearly to me.”
Kjellberg appeared emotional towards the end of the video, at one point appearing to tear up while thanking everyone who has supported him.