Disney Cuts Ties with YouTuber PewDiePie Following Anti-Semitic Videos
Felix Kjellberg-better known as PewDiePie-is YouTube's highest-paid star, making an estimated $15 million previous year, but he has lost his deal with Disney over posts deemed to have crossed the line from "provocative and irreverent" to simply hateful.
KitGuru Says: It seems obvious that this sort of content is created to be amusing, but it isn't too surprising that a company like Disney wants to distance itself from it.
PewDiePie's latest controversy started when Disney found out about nine recent videos in which PewDiePie included Nazi imagery and anti-Semitic jokes.
Popular YouTube personality Felix "Pewdiepie" Kjellberg has just had the rug pulled from under him regarding his YouTube realtiy show: Scare PewDiePie.
The situation is further complicated for YouTube, since beyond Kjellberg being its biggest star, he also has a show on YouTube's $9.99-a-month premium service, YouTube Red, called "Scare PewDiePie".
The Wall Street Journal reports that Disney-owned Maker Studios, which operates the Revelmode network that hosts Kjellberg and other YouTube stars, severed ties with Kjellberg after the company was made aware of the anti-Semitic content.
His channel's astounding numbers, which are nearly double the next leading YouTube channel, have landed Kjellberg interviews with Kathie Lee and Hoda, Katie Couric, and Stephen Colbert.
Shortly after publishing his "explanation" video, PewDiePie hired an actor to impersonate Jesus Christ and say "Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong". Kjellberg appears to have removed one of the videos himself.
PewDiePie, who had editorial independence under the terms of the arrangement with Disney, paid two Indian men five dollars to hold the banner reading "Death to all Jews" while they laugh and dance in the video, posted on January 11.
"I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes", Kjellberg wrote, saying that he makes videos tailored for his audience.
"Twitter Inc. briefly suspended his account past year after he posted a profile picture that could be viewed as obscene", Bloomberg writes.
He added that he did not produce the posts as a form of "serious political commentary", and acknowledged that "these jokes were ultimately offensive".
"To anyone unsure on my standpoint regarding hate-based groups: No, I don't support these people in any way", he wrote.
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