PewDiePie, or Felix Kjellberg, has become a household name. At over 95 million subscribers, he is YouTube’s most well-known content creator. Early on in his YouTube career, PewDiePie was almost strictly a YouTube gamer, focusing on Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Happy Wheels, and Telltale’s The Walking Dead series.
In the past few years, PewDiePie has strayed from the gaming path a bit, exploring some of the more trendy content being released, like his meme reviews or LWIAYT (Last Week I Asked You), in which he asks his subscribers to submit specific memes to his Reddit page, and laugh challenges.
While some argue that PewDiePie’s humor should be perceived as dark or nonsensical, some of his content has stirred up controversy – like when he used Fiverr, a freelancing website to ask two men in India to hold up a banner that read “Death to all Jews.” He said he just wanted to see if they would really do it, and seemed shocked that they did.
While streaming a game of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, during a particularly rage-filled moment, he yells a racial slur. That, with all of the publicity around the Nazi jokes that his followers insist were made in jest, caused a lot of PewDiePie’s future projects to fall through, including a show with YouTube called “Scare PewDiePie” which had a second season that had already been filmed.
Most recently, PewDiePie has been in competition with T-Series, another YouTube channel that posts Bollywood videos, on who can get the most subscribers. Named the “Subscribe to PewDiePie movement,” it started by PewDiePie himself making jokes in his videos and asking his fans to spread the word so that his channel could remain on top. Soon, this movement grew and swept the world, with fans and other popular YouTubers doing things like putting up billboards and flying planes with “Subscribe to PewDiePie” signs trailing behind them. Then the movement took a turn when the shooter in the Christchurch mosque attacks referenced the movement on his live stream just before he entered the mosque.
After some silence on the topic, PewDiePie has finally come forward to release a video addressing the horrific incident, and calling for an end to the meme.
In it, PewDiePie thanks his fans for the amazing support, but then said that “when 90 million people are riled up about something, there are bound to be degenerates,” referencing the mosque shooting and saying that he did not respond for a while after the attack out of respect for the families and victims. He concluded with a statement that while the movement was intended to be positive, that he doesn’t want hate to win and that the end of the meme has been long overdue.
What do you think about PewDiePie’s statement?