Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has been axed from Maker Studios, the subsidiary for Disney. This followed on a crackdown investigation carried out by the Wall Street Journal’s Jack Nicas, Ben Fritz and Rolfe Winkler, who surfaced nine videos from PewDiePie’s account that contained what they claimed was anti-semitic jokes and Nazi imagery.
The three Wall Street Journal writers brought their findings to Maker, which in turn axed their affiliation with PewDiePie, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. The videos containing the jokes on PewDiePie’s channel have been summarily removed.
Some of the videos have been re-uploaded by other YouTubers to give people an idea of what it was that caused Maker to part ways with PewDieDie.
Ultra Trends hosted the minute and a half long video, which features two shirtless men holding up a sign that PewDiePie paid them to hold up while attributing the message to another YouTuber named Keemstar, as part of a joke. You can view the video below.
As noted by the Wall Street Journal, the video originally aired back on January 11th, 2017.
The two guys in the videos are known as the Funny Guys. They posted up an apology a few days later explaining that they didn’t even know what the word “Jew” meant, and that they had no intentions to be part of anything controversial. Viral Videos posted up their apology.
The joke even went further than that when PewdiePie paid Fiverr to post a video featuring Jesus addressing PewDiePie about the Jews. The video was posted on Straus TV.
Disney, however, did not find the running joke to be funny and neither did the media.
The original videos were enough to get Disney to cut ties with PewDiePie after the Wall Street Journal brought it to their attention. They issued a press statement saying…
“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 the Wall Street Journal YouTube pulled ads from some videos but not others, and PewDiePie took down some of the offending videos but left up others as well. YouTube found themselves in a bind because despite the videos clearly being made in jest, they explained that they only step in when videos are made to purely incite hate or violence as part of hate speech and that satire and comedy should be allowed. Since it’s obviously comedy, but the media and Disney are not fond of it, YouTube has found themselves at an impasse, and decided not to comment on the removal of PewDiePie’s content.
PewDiePie did comment on the removal, however, stating in one of the removed videos…
“What I just think – and I believe strongly in – is that it is 2017 now, we’re going to have to start separating what is a joke, and what is actually problematic.
“Is a joke actually pure racism? Is something that would be considered a joke purely homophobic, or anti-semitic and all these things? Context-ing matters.”
In a world where the media is ran by SJWs, conext does not matter.
Game Informer editor Michael Futter decided to rewrite history, painting PewDiePie as an enemy to the media, writing on Twitter.
@haydencd The strangest part is that the media has (had?) been ready to give him good coverage. He always told us to eff off.
— Mike Futter (@Futterish) February 14, 2017
Pewdiepie isn’t a developed fictional char. He uses hate because he thinks its funny. And he does it for 50m (mostly young) subscribers. 5/8
— Mike Futter (@Futterish) February 14, 2017
Sites like IGN framed the situation as PewDiePie engaging in “questionable content” tying it to Nazism, failing to mention that the entire thing was a ridiculous joke.
Kotaku ran with the fear-mongering tactic, citing Jonathan Vick from the Anti-Defamation League. They go a step further by adding their own commentary, stating that even joking about racism helps the “resurgence” of real-world Nazism…
“It’s an especially poor choice on Pewdiepie’s part in a time when, remarkably, people are having very real discussions on how to deal with a resurgence in real-world nazism.”
The Verge followed suit with Kotaku, also claiming that the joke has helped neo-Nazis latch onto the message.
Thankfully, the people reading the messages aren’t daft to what’s going on. Many normal people who aren’t Social Justice Warriors are pointing out the absurdity of the media’s response given that PewDiePie’s point was to point out the absurdity of the media’s current hate-bait fear-mongering and nanny-state censuring. Heather left a comment on Variety, stating…
“So now YouTube is censoring people as well. Felix does things like this to point out the absurdity of them and he himself said this was the case with this video. This is ridiculous. YouTube and Disney are virtue signaling and they know it. Felix has posted many many crazy and absurd things before now. If he was truly anti-Semitic it would permeate his videos. You can’t hide something like that in your personality, just like you can’t hide true racism.”
It should be noted that YouTube has indeed taken on a stance against “hate speech”, as outlined in their initiative alongside Twitter and Facebook. They were recently joined by Disqus in their initiative.
It’s interesting Maker Studios would be so quick to come down on PewDiePie over this obvious satire, but they did nothing about Zoe Quinn who admitted to the corporate sabotage of a $400,000 game jam production they invested in.
I suppose that old Voltaire quote rings truer by the day…
“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”