PewDiePie, one of the most lucrative stars in YouTube history, has been dropped by Disney after anti-Semitic content appeared on the 27-year old’s account.
Disney said in a statement that it has “ended its affiliation” with the Swede – whose real name is Felix Kjellberg – as a result of these controversial videos.
Moreover, YouTube has canceled the new season of his show on the platform, Scare PewDiePie.
According to The Wall Street Journal, these decisions were made as a result of a January 11 video on Kjellberg’s YouTube channel.
The footage, which has since been deleted, allegedly depicted what the newspaper described as two men hired by the Internet personality to display a sign that read “Death to All Jews.”
Yikes. That is SO not cool if true.
The video from last month sparked further investigation into PewDiePie and his YouTube account, resulting in the discovery of nine videos, dating back to August 2016.
Each features jokes that could construed as anti-Semitic and/or imagery related to Nazism.
In a statement released to TIME Magazine, Disney said the following about this troubling scandal:
“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.
“Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward.”
Maker Studios had teamed up with PewDiePie to produce Scare PewDiePie, a 10-episode series for YouTube Red, the Google subsidiary’s premium streaming service.
Its first season was released in early 2016, according to The Wall Street Journal.
There will be no second season die to these findings.
Kjellberg, who banked $7.4 million in 2014 alone off his YouTube page, wrote a lengthy Tumblr post on February 12 in response to the controversy.
In this post, Kjellberg acknowledges he made a few “jokes [that] were ultimately offensive,” but insisted he was “in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes.”
The YouTube sensation added:
“To anyone unsure on my standpoint regarding hate-based groups: No, I don’t support these people in any way.”
Take a look below at his full statement:
Related to this ongoing case, a YouTube spokesperson told TIME:
“We’ve decided to cancel the release of Scare PewDiePie Season 2 and we’re removing the PewDiePie channel from Google Preferred.”
Kjellberg sky-rocket to viral fame under the moniker PewDiePie by uploading videos of himself playing video games and joking along the way, often in a crash manner, to YouTube.
Really. That’s basically all it took for the guy to become a millionaire.
Since joining YouTube in April 2010, PewDiePie has amassed a huge online following of over 53 million subscribers at the time of this writing.
And you thought Kim Kardashian didn’t have any talent worthy of being a celebrity!
“I make videos for my audience,” Kjellberg said in his Tumblr statement, adding:
“I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary. I know my audience understands that and that is why they come to my channel.
“Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.”