MANILA, Philippines – Disney’s Maker Studios has severed ties with Swedish YouTuber Felix Kjellberg, aka PewDiePie, after he used anti-Semitic jokes on his channel.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news Monday, February 13. According to them, Disney called the anti-semitic material in Kjellberg’s videos “inappropriate.”
In a statement to Variety, Maker Studios said, “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. Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward.”
In a January 11 video that has since been deleted, Kjellberg had two men hired from the freelance website Fiverr to hold up a sign that read “Death to all Jews.” The website offers services from entrepreneurs and users starting at $5.
In a January 22 video, which has also been deleted, Kjellberg featured a man dressed as Jesus who said, “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong.”
Since deleting the videos, Kjellberg has released a statement on Tumblr, saying: “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.
“I make videos for my audience. I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary. I know my audience understand that and that is why they come to my channel. Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.”
On the video of the two men holding up the “Death to all Jews” sign, from which Kjellberg said all the trouble originated, he said: “I was trying to show how crazy the modern 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’s channel has the most number of subscriptions on YouTube, according to social media statistics website Social Blade, with 53,170,530 subscribers. – Rappler.com
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