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PewDiePie Apologizes for Anti-Semitic ‘Jokes,’ But Attacks Media for Taking Them Out of Context

Variety logo Variety 2 days ago Todd Spangler
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PewDiePie, the internet star who was dropped by Maker Studios and YouTube this past week over pranks he staged involving anti-Semitic rhetoric, posted a video Thursday responding to the controversy.

The vlogger, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, apologized for the videos, one of which detailed a stunt in which he paid two Indian men to hold up a sign that said, “Death to All Jews.” Kjellberg also reiterated that he was pointing out how crazy it was that it’s possible to pay random people $5 to get them to say outrageous comments, and that he absolutely doesn’t support hate groups.

“I’m sorry for the words that I used, as I know they offended people,” he said. “And I admit the joke itself went too far.”

But he also attacked the media, including Variety as well as the Wall Street Journal, which originally reported that Disney’s Maker had cut its ties to him. He claimed the newspaper and other news organizations have taken his “jokes” out of context to inaccurately portray him “as a Nazi.”

“Old-school media does not like internet personalities because they’re scared of us,” he said. “We have so much influence and such a large voice — and I don’t think they understand it.” He called out an opinion piece by Variety Co-Editor-in-Chief Andrew Wallenstein from 2013, titled, “If PewDiePie Is YouTube’s Top Talent, We’re All Doomed.”

At the end of the 11-minute video, Kjellberg gets choked up in thanking other YouTubers who have spoken out in support of him.

Watch Kjellberg’s full video:

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