PewDiePie Isn't Anti-Semitic, He Just Messed Up

PewDiePie has changed a lot since his YouTube career started
PewDiePie has changed a lot since his YouTube career started YouTube

On Tuesday, the internet’s biggest YouTuber, PewDiePie, got his content removed from Google Preferred and had the second season of his show “Scare PewDiePie” cancelled. Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg got into a bit of trouble in January, when he released a video where he paid a group of kids on Fiverr to write “Death To All Jews” on a sign and used it in a video. The internet backlash was massive, though he blamed the media for “blowing everything out of proportion” in a series of videos that have since been deleted.

PewDiePie “Death To All Jews” Scandal

In one of the deleted videos, Pewds even calls out our sister site, International Business Times UK and says “why does the International Business Times care about me?” I’m not sure PewDiePie knows how big of a celebrity he is. To his 50 million plus subscribers, he’s an idol, someone they’ve grown up watching and matured with. For some reason, Pewds still thinks of himself as a normal guy. In an h3h3 podcast interview, he even says that he doesn’t consider himself a celebrity.

I’m willing to admit that I’m a grown(ish) man and a fan of PewDiePie. His videos have evolved quite a bit over the six years he’s been a YouTuber; he’s replaced video game “Let’s Plays” with content where his personality is allowed to shine through. In a recent collaboration with h3h3, he even pokes fun at how big he’s gotten by charging his “good friend” $50,000 to be in the video with him. Of course that was a joke, but to some people it seemed like Pewds had sold out.

The “Death To All Jews” prank was senseless, rude and unnecessary, but I don’t think it makes PewDiePie an anti-Semite. Comedians, even internet ones, will make risque jokes that will piss people off. It doesn’t matter if you are Anthony Jeselnik, who’s built a whole career out of it, or Amy Schumer, who pissed off a bunch of Trump supporters at her show, there will be people who get mad. I want Pewds to keep making content, even if the big corporations don’t want to pay him for it.

What Can You Say On YouTube?

Internet videos are still a new medium. If someone told you five years ago that a guy who made YouTube videos was let go by Disney for making crude comments, you’d say “why does Disney care about a guy on his webcam?” There’s no formal rulebook on what can and can’t be done online and when you have to create new content everyday, you sometimes travel into murky waters.

Pushing the envelope is important, it’s why my favorite YouTubers are Filthy Frank and iDubbbz. Their videos are filled with grotesque language and disgusting antics, but that’s part of their appeal. If Pewds is the PC, corporation friendly side of YouTube, those two are the exact opposite.

Here’s my message to PewDiePie, since I know he loves reading articles about himself: keep doing what you are doing, just try not to pay people to hold up signs with slurs on them.

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