PewDiePie, Felix Kjellberg, is one of the most subscribed YouTuber on YouTube. Recently, there has been much controversy regarding him and the media. On February 15, The Wall Street Journal posted a video, “Disney Severs Ties With YouTube Star PewDiePie After Anti-Semitic Posts”, of PewDiePie showing “Nazi imagery.” In the WSJ video, were clips of PewDiePie’s videos. He was dressed as a soldier, listening to a Hitler speech, and doing the Nazi salute. WSJ then, took this to Disney’s Maker Studio, who partnered with Felix, and YouTube. Disney decided to cut ties with Felix, and YouTube responded to end the second season of his series, Scare PewDiePie, on YouTube Red. In one of the videos the WSJ used, PewDiePie uses the website Fiverr. On Fiverr, one could make a video message of anything for five dollars. Felix tried it out by making someone write a note saying, “Death to all Jews,” and a Jesus character saying, “Hitler did nothing wrong.”
Felix made a video, My Response, clarifying the situation to his viewers and apologizing to those who took offense; however, he also shows what WSJ and the media did wrong. In this video, he discusses the manipulation the media uses to grasp attention and selective editing to bring someone’s image down. Through clickbait, the media exaggerates and embellishes their headlines to be clickable. For example, the headline the WSJ has for PewDiePie adds Disney, a widely-known company, and a negative word, “Anti-Semitic.” The WSJ’s video has a serious tone with dramatic music; it’s only compiled of parts where PewDiePie indicates Nazi images.
Most of his videos are comedic. Originally, he posted videos of him playing funny video games or playing horror games with him reacting hysterical. He later then expanded his content to skits and vlogs, but his channel is one of humor. Since he is widely popular, he has influence on his subscribers and the media. The media has talked about him before with a negative context, and PewDiePie has responded before. Variety posted an article, “If PewDiePie Is YouTube’s Top Talent, We’re All Doomed.” In 2013, when he had 12.6 M subscribers, Felix’s video states that the media’s hatred comes from their fear of YouTubers’ power. He stated YouTubers have “so much influence and such a large voice.” Felix also mentions that the media only portrays him with his salary and not of the projects he’s done like funding charities.
Many other YouTubers made videos in response to this controversy, including famous YouTubers from different types of channels such as Jacksepticeye (gamer), Markiplier (gamer), CinnamonToastKen (gamer), Casey Neistat (vlogger), and Philp DeFranco (newscaster). Some completely defend Felix; some state that he did go too far with his joke, but still, see WSJ in the wrong.
Overall, PewDiePie is still popular on YouTube and in the media. His channel is still growing and will continue to grow despite the negative light that the media has made.