Disney reportedly cut the ties with Internet sensation and YouTube gamer PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg) after he posted some videos with anti-Semitic messages. He currently has 53 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. One of the videos which really upset Disney and made them end the collaboration showed two men laughing while holding a banner with the message “Death to all Jews” written on it.
The myth of PewDiePie
PewDiePie is a 27-year old Swede who made a fortune from posting videos of him playing video games on his YouTube channel. His funny personality made him a true star and secured him some multimillion dollar deals with both Disney and YouTube. He has more subscribers than any other YouTube star from his niche. Because of his enormous success, Disney offered him a deal in 2012. Since then, he expanded into new horizons, had his own YouTube Red reality series “Scare PewDiePie” and launched a digital network focused on gaming called Revelmode.
However, on January 11, the video he posted deeply disappointed the people at Disney. They decided to end their collaboration with him. Apart from the video in which two men were holding “Death to all Jews” signs, there were some other videos in his series. Those also used various Nazi references or imagery. According to a statement from a Disney’s Maker Studios, the company saw the videos as being too much and rather inappropriate. According to them, they knew how Felix is and what kinds of videos he makes, but this time, he went too far.
Not PewDiePie’s first problem
However, this is not the first time that the YouTube star PewDiePie had problems because of his social media activity. Last summer, his Twitter account was suspended because of some concerns of it having been hacked. According to a source, that was not the case. PewDiePie was suspended from the social media platform because of some comments he made referencing ISIS. Also, because of a graphic Twitter profile picture. A misunderstanding resulted from all of these things and his account ended up suspended for a short period of time.
Interestingly enough, the YouTube star quickly took to Tumblr and wrote a post in which he explains the entire situation from his perspective. In his blog post he stated that his intention was not to make anyone feel bad because of the jokes. According to him, he looked on website Fiverr (a freelance job finding site) and saw that people would do and say anything for a sum of money. He stated that this was his intention. Only to display how far people on the Internet would go to win some money.
This latest happening only proves that YouTubers, especially popular ones like Felix, should be more careful about the content they are posting on their channels. After all, the Internet is a free space and anyone can have access to it. So, it depends on you, as influencer, to establish a line between what you want your audience to know and what you should not post. Children are watching too, and they may lack the experience and knowledge necessary to understand some specific jokes. It is a question of perception. And each one of us understands things differently.
Image source: here