Disney cuts ties with YouTube’s PewDiePie over anti-Semitic videos

YouTube’s biggest star may be fading.

Walt Disney said it has cut ties with PewDiePie after the Swedish video creator posted several anti-Semitic clips on his YouTube channel. The videos included two men holding a sign reading “Death to all Jews,” and another of a man dressed to look like Jesus Christ saying, “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong.”

The Wall Street Journal said it had found nine videos with anti-Semitic messages or Nazi images on the YouTube channel of PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, and contacted Disney about the matter. Disney owns Maker Studios, which had a business partnership with PewDiePie in which he produced videos of himself doing things such as playing video games and putting himself into embarrassing skits and other situations.

PewDiePie has made a good living off his YouTube videos. The 27-year-old performer’s videos have been viewed 14.7 billion times, thus making him the biggest “star” on YouTube. Social-media research firm NeoRanch estimates that PewDiePie earned a reported $14.5 million from ad revenue, sponsorship deals and fees from appearances in 2016.

But, for a company that manages its image as closely as Disney does, PewDiePie’s attempts at using what might have been called anti-Semitic “jokes” was too much for the higher-ups at the Magic Kingdom.

Under terms of his deal with Disney’s Maker Studios, PewDiePie was said to have editorial independence with regards to his content. However, in a statement that the Journal attributed to a Maker Studios spokeswoman, “he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate.”

As if losing his partnership with Disney wasn’t enough, PewDiePie has also gotten on the wrong side of YouTube.

Variety reported that YouTube has cancelled the second season of PewDiePie’s “Scare PewDiePie” show, which cost subscribers $10 a month, and removed PewDiePie from the Google Preferred advertising platform. The first season of “Scare PewDiePie” is still available on the $10-a-month YouTube Red service.

Photo: An image from one of PewDiePie’s YouTube shows. (Bay Area News Group Archives)


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  • Dave

    Never thought he was funny. He’s an old man in the realm of YouTube for kids. He’s about the worst nightmare a parent could have and hopefully he will focus on growing up and doing something more beneficial with the vast wealth he has accumulated.

  • alrui

    Sounds like the PC police are working overtime!

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