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YouTube Joins Disney’s Maker Studios In Severing Ties With PewDiePie After Anti-Semitic Videos – Update

Deadline logo Deadline 2/14/2017 Liz Calvario
© Provided by Deadline

UPDATE, 11 AM:  A day after Disney’s Maker Studios severed ties with PewDiePie (aka Felix Kjellberg) after anti-semitic jokes surfaced in videos posted on his YouTube channel, the streaming service has also distanced itself from Kjellberg. In a statement Tuesday morning, YouTube said it has canceled the release of Scare PewDiePie Season 2 and is removing the PewDiePie channel from Google Preferred.

PREVIOUS, Monday PM: Disney’s Maker Studios has severed ties with YouTuber PewDiePie, also known as Felix Kjellberg, after videos with anti-Semitic jokes were posted on his channel.

In one of Kjellberg’s videos, which have been removed from the site, two men were seen laughing and holding a banner that read “Death to all Jews.” According to a report, PewDiePie had posted nine videos that included anti-Semitic jokes or Nazi imagery.

“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,” according to a statement from Maker Studios.

Kjellberg’s online channel, which has nearly 14.7 billion video views, earned him multimillion-dollar deals with YouTube and Disney.

This isn’t his first time he’s been involved in controversy; his Twitter was suspended briefly last year over concerns that his profile was hacked. He also threatened to delete his YouTube channel once it reached 50 million subscribers, though he never deleted it and said that it was just a joke.

Kjellberg took to Tumblr to clarify the videos with the two men holding the “Death to all Jews” sign, writing that the clips were made “to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online.”He added that he is in “no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes” and that he makes videos for his audience.

“I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary,” he continued. “I know my audience understand[s] that and that is why they come to my channel. Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive. As laughable as it is to believe that I might actually endorse these people, to anyone unsure on my standpoint regarding hate-based groups: No, I don’t support these people in any way.”

The story was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

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