Disney has officially severed ties with prominent YouTube star PewDiePie due to several anti-Semitic jokes made in some of his more recent video productions.
Disney and its subsidiary network Maker Studios have just severed ties with YouTube‘s most popular content creator, PewDiePie. Although the outspoken YouTube content creator has always been one to push the envelope, it was anti-Semitic and insensitive jokes in a few of his more recent videos that forced Maker to rethink the relationship. Disney and Maker Studios specifically pointed to a January 11th video where PewDiePie paid two men to hold up a sign that says “Death To All Jews” as evidence as to why the business relationship between both parties came to an abrupt end.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg had a deal with Disney that allowed for him to retain his editorial independence, but making anti-Semitic jokes clearly crossed the line for Disney. YouTube itself chimed in on the issue of Felix’s inappropriate jokes, stating that “if content is intended to be provocative or satirical, it may remain online” – meaning while it adhered to YouTube’s more lax policies regarding such content, it clearly wasn’t apropos for a representative of Disney.
Since August, PewDiePie has reportedly created nine videos that contain anti-Semitic content, with things really ramping up in January 2017 when he released 3 different videos within an 11-day time frame that featured at least one insensitive joke or reference. One of the videos features a man dressed as Jesus Christ saying that Hitler did nothing wrong, and PewDiePie also hired the aforementioned two men via Fiverr to hold onto a sign that said “Death To All Jews” while dressed up as self-described jungle boys. The men were immediately banned from Fiverr, but seem to have their channel back up after posting a public apology regarding the incident.
A spokesperson for Maker Studios acknowledged that, while the company knew and respected PewDiePie’s history of zany antics, it was definitely his most recent content that caused the company to nip this issue in the bud:
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.
The controversial YouTube star had promised to delete his YouTube channel if it reached 50,000,000 subscribers 2 months ago, which caused a massive rush of new followers to his account. Once the targeted number was achieved, it turned out that Felix had been ‘playing a prank‘ on his viewers, and the entire thing ended with a very predictable cop-out from the 27-year-old millionaire.
The YouTube star had actually threatened to leave the Maker Studios network last year, but the company convinced their star performer to stay by allowing him to create his own entertainment network called Revelmode. Now, though, it remains to be seen what will happen between Maker Studios and Pewdiepie’s Revelmode network affiliates, if anything.
PewDiePie has since apologized for posting the content in the first place, reaffirming that he does not support any hate-based groups. Earlier last month, a prominent Neo-Nazi website called the Daily Stormer had named itself the “#1 PewDiePie fansite”, and the associate director for the Anti-Defamation League condemned Felix’s jokes, stating that even with the apology, “Just putting it out there brings it more and more into the mainstream”.
What do you think about Disney and Maker Studios dropping PewDiePie, Ranters?