PewDiePie has had his share of controversy in the past, including with the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that aims to fight anti-Semitism and hate. Now, in a sudden decision that surprised fans, PewDiePie has revealed that he's donated $50,000 to the ADL.
PewDiePie initially unveiled this sudden act of generosity during his unboxing of his 100 million subscriber Red Diamond Play Button. Unfortunately, the announcement quickly spiraled into confusion and rumors among his fans.
The confusion here stems from the fact that the ADL has previously spoken out against PewDiePie and his actions on his YouTube channel. The ADL's stance on Antisemitism didn't take kindly to PewDiePie's 'Death to All Jews' prank, where he hired random people on Fiverr to hold up signs containing that text. The ADL even went so far as to call on Disney to dump PewDiePie, which it ultimately did.
Given the past the two share, fans began to spin rumors that perhaps PewDiePie had been somehow blackmailed into making the donation. PewDiePie opened up on Twitter shortly after to dissuade his fans of these rumors and to bring to light his motivations for making it.
As the Tweet points out, part of PewDiePie's decision comes from the Christchurch terror attack earlier this year and the media's take on it after the terrorist called for his livestream viewers to subscribe to PewDiePie. Despite PewDiePie previously going on record as saying that he didn't want to bring up the attack and give the terrorist any more attention than he had already received, clearly it's still weighing heavily on the mind of the YouTuber.
As far as the ADL is concerned, the donation was news to it. PewDiePie and the ADL have not spoken directly to each other and the donation was made without prior notice from PewDiePie.
It's worth noting that while a $50,000 donation is quite generous, PewDiePie won't be hurting for money due to it. It's estimated that PewDiePie makes around a million dollars every single month from a combination of advertising and product sales. Of course, it's also far from the only charity effort that PewDiePie has made. Among many others, he also notably made a donation to the World War 2 memorial at Cadman Plaza in New York after a 'fan' scrawled 'Subscribe to PewDiePie' on it, alongside disavowing the move.
Source: The Verge