Disney is waving goodbye to Internet superstar and Youtube sensation PewDiePie after the online celebrity reposted anti-Semitic videos to his channel. Maker Studios has officially severed ties with Swedish born Felix Kjellberg, even though the videos in question were removed from his channel. Maker Studios, which is owned by Disney, had this to say in their statement.
"Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case. The resulting videos are inappropriate."
Felix Kjellberg was a college student when he launched his Youtube channel under the name PewDiePie back in 2010. One year later, he was becoming known well enough to drop out of school and solely focus on his career as a Youtuber. During that time, he supported himself selling Photoshop art and working at a hot dog stand. In his off time, he devoted himself to producing online content, which, by 2012, had netted him over a million subscribers. It was in July of that year that he officially signed with Maker Studios, which is owned by The Walt Disney Company. By 2013, he had more subscribers than anyone else on Youtube. He currently has 53 million subscribers on his channel.
The posting of these anti-Semitic videos came as a surprise to Maker studios. Kjellberg is mostly known for his postings that show him playing and reacting to video games. He also produces vlogs and makes comedy videos as well as reaction videos. He's also done a lot for indie game developers and has raised quite a lot of money for charity. That aside, Disney and Maker could not over look his decision in posting the anti-Jewish videos in question.
The videos that landed him in the most hot water have since been removed from his Youtube channel, with some dating back to August 2016. Maker Studios announced the exit of PewDiePie on WSJ, who explain how Felix Kjellberg used pictures of Hitler to segue between various clips he had posted. He had shown Swastikas in an animated video. He also reportedly wore a brown military uniform while watching a Hitler speech. Other controversial videos reposted on his channel included one where two men were seen holding a sign that read 'Death to all Jews'.
In the video with the two men, PewDiePie appeared to be shocked. He did apologize. He went onto say this.
"I didn't think they would actually do it."
This implied that he knew what was coming in the video, but claimed it was a joke and not actually 'anti-Semitic'. Just a few days after that incident, he showed a video of a man dress up as Jesus. The religious caricature stated, "Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong." In that same video, PewDiePie vocally derided a website run by an Israeli for suspending the fake Jesus account. PewDiePie defended his reposting of the videos saying he didn't make them or encourage them, and was simply reacting to them. After WSJ questioned the content, PewDiePie had it removed and issued this apology.
"Some have been pointing to my videos and saying that I am giving credibility to the anti-Semitic movement. I was trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online. 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."
Despite the apology and removal of the videos, Maker Studios has severed ties with PewDiePie. It is unclear how this will impact his subscribers or if Youtube will take any further actions. At this time, Felix Kjellberg plans to keep producing content for the Internet and his fans.