Disney drops top YouTube star over antisemitic videos

Disney-owned firm Maker Studios ends partnership with "PewDiePie," after posts such as one featuring "Death to all Jews" scene.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 14, 2017 14:37
2 minute read.
PewDiePie

Felix Kjellberg, aka PewDiePie. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Walt Disney Company has severed ties with the world's highest-paid YouTube star over a series of videos containing content accused of being antisemitic.

In light of the controversial material, Disney-owned multi-channel media network Maker Studios ended its partnership with "PewDiePie," a 27-year-old Swede whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


On Tuesday, the Journal published a report on the probe into the online videos with antisemitic jokes uploaded last month, such as one that featured two laughing men from South Asia who had allegedly been paid to hold a sign that read, "Death to all Jews."

Screenshot of controversial YouTube video

Another video by the YouTube sensation, who has amassed more than 53 million subscribers and millions of dollars, showed a man dressed as Jesus saying "Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong."

“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,” said a spokesperson from the company.

Kjellberg and Maker Studios inked a deal in 2014 that lead to his co-ownership of Revelmode, a content network covering video games, music and entertainment media produced by Kjellberg and his associates.



According to the Journal, the PewDiePie account has since August uploaded nine videos with antisemitic jokes or Nazi imagery.

The two aforementioned videos along with another containing controversial remarks have reportedly been removed from the popular YouTube channel.

In light of negative attention surrounding the footage before the Journal report, Kjellberg took to his Tumblr blog in attempt to clarify that he had made the videos as humorous commentary on contemporary society.

"It came to my attention yesterday that some have been pointing to my videos and saying that I am giving credibility to the anti-Semitic movement, and my fans are part of it as well for watching," he wrote on Sunday. "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 added that he did not produce the posts as a form of "serious political commentary," and acknowledged that "these jokes were ultimately offensive.

"As laughable as it is to believe that I might actually endorse these people, to anyone unsure on my standpoint regarding hate-based groups: No, I don’t support these people in any way," he added.

Related Content

Jerusalem Post News
August 5, 2018
This week in 60 seconds: Ahed Tamimi released from prison

By JPOST.COM STAFF