Google-owned YouTube is distancing itself from Felix Kjellberg, known online as PewDiePie, after widespread backlash of his use of Nazi imagery and antisemitism as props for one of his videos
YouTube’s decision follows the news that Maker Studios, a division of Disney, also cut ties with Kjellberg over videos with antisemitic jokes.
In the now-deleted 11 January video, Pewdiepie paid two men to hold up a sign that read, "Death To All Jews"
According to the Wall Street Journal, Kjellberg had posted nine videos that include antisemitic content since August last year. The one from 11 January and two others from 17 and 22 January respectively, have been taken down.
One of those videos depicted a man dressed as Jesus Christ saying, “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong.”
The Swedish YouTuber is no a stranger to controversial videos but it seems like he crossed the line this time
“Although PewDiePie 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.
The production company contracts with individuals such as Kjellberg to produce videos for various YouTube channels.
As for YouTube, it has decided to cancel the release of the second season of Kjellberg's reality show 'Scare PewDiePie' and removed the PewDiePie channel from its Google Preferred advertising programme
Although the video site will not be cancelling Kjellberg's channel, both of these repercussions will have some kind of effect on his actual income since he has said that his normal pay-per-view on YouTube is low because his brand of video content is too "edgy" for some.
“My content is not necessarily family friendly, it’s got a bunch of profanity,” Kjellberg said.
In his own defence, Kjellberg has insisted that he didn’t intend his ongoing Nazi references to support antisemitism
"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 would do anything for five dollars.
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," he wrote on Tumblr.
Do you think it was fair for Disney and YouTube to sever their partnership with PewDiePie over the videos? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.