Disney’s Maker Studios has decided to cut ties with the Youtube megastar PewDiePie. The reason lies in a series of videos posted since last August that contain some Anti-Semitic and Nazi imagery, the last one including a clip of two men holding a sign saying “Deat to all Jews”. PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, has posted a note in which he assures that those videos were only intended to reflect the modern world and that he doesn’t share those values.
While the Youtube star had been posting videos that included anti-Semitic messages and images of Adolf Hitler for months, Disney didn’t notice their content until they were brough up by The Wall Street Journal. When they asked the company for comment, Disney decided that they were inappropriate and decided to end the partnership. The WSJ has made a compilation of the controversial clips.
The last video of a total of nine including this material was posted on January 11th, and it featured two Indian men laughing as they were holding a sign that said “Deat to all Jews”. Those two men have come public afterwards apologizing and saying that they didn’t know what the sign said, and that PewDiePie paid them to hold it and appear on the video.
But even if the message was not meant to be taken seriously, Disney disapproves its mere inclusion, saying that the Youtube star has gone too far: “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.”
The star posted a message on Tumblr assuring that he didn’t share in any way the values of those messages: “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.”
PewDiePie is better known for posting irreverent videos on Youtube in which he plays videogames. Over time he has amassed over 53 million subscribers, making him the most important star on the network, and the prime example of a new generation of stars whose work is based on the internet.