PewDiePie: Sorry about those anti-Semitic jokes, it’s the media’s fault
PewDiePie is the very definition of sorry/not sorry.
The world’s top YouTuber (real name Felix Kjellberg) posted a response video Thursday, days after Maker Studios dropped him over The Wall Street Journal’s extensive review of the YouTubers recent videos that found a handful containing anti-Semitic "jokes" and Nazi imagery.
Though PewDiePie does indeed apologize and says his joking went "too far," the video quickly veers into harsh critique of the media, pointing a finger (and crassly giving the finger) at the Journal and several other outlets for what he feels is a sustained campaign of twisting his words and taking his jokes out of context.
So, yeah. Sorry/not sorry.
"I just want to reiterate that my intention was to show how stupid the website is and how far you could push it … I’m sorry for the words that I used as I know they offended people," he says early on. "I admit the joke itself went too far. I do strongly believe you can joke about anything but I also believe there’s a right way and not the best way to joke about things. I love to push boundaries but I would consider myself a ‘rookie comedian’ and I’ve definitely made mistakes like this before. It’s always been a growing and learning experience for me."
And then the video takes a turn. He complains that the media only highlights his monetary accomplishments, and that it’s they, in fact, who are "normalizing hatred."
"They [the media] blatantly misrepresent people for their own personal gain, even viciously attack people just to further themselves," he says, adding that he knew there would be "a price to pay" for being honest.
"It was an attack toward me, to try and discredit me, to try and decrease my influence and my economic worth. These three gentleman from WSJ that did this are also very proud of this," he said.
Later, he has a special message for the Journal (along with that middle-finger visual aid): "Try again, motherfuckers."
Then, before he concludes, he gets a little emotional and thanks his supporters.
This time it hit him where it hurts
This is not the first time PewDiePie has come under fire for his actions. But it’s the first time he’s suffered any actual consequences.
In the last year, the Swedish gamer has: tweeted that he and YouTuber Jacksepticeye have "joined ISIS"; bashed reporters for singling him out in articles about the Federal Trade Commission and Warner Bros. "pay for play" settlement; hated on a rival channel which stars a 5-year-old; and trolled fans by saying he would delete his channel after he reached 50 million subscribers but instead deleted a secondary channel he barely uses.
PewDiePie got his start in 2010 making funny videos of himself playing games. He was one of the pioneers of the now popular "Let’s Play" YouTube genre, with its narrated video game play.
Maker Studios, which Disney purchased in 2014 for a whopping $675 million, added PewDiePie to its network in 2012 with just 3 million subscribers. He quickly became its biggest star. YouTube also promoted him as a poster child for success on the platform, literally plastering him on billboards across the globe.
His book This Book Loves You made the New York Times bestseller list and his YouTube Red series Scare PewDiePie was a top performer (before being canceled). His second video game, PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator, was downloaded more than 1 million times within 24 hours of its release.
As of Thursday, PewDiePie still has over 53 million subscribers to his main channel.