YouTube star PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, got some bad news: Variety reports that he Google-owned streaming site has cancelled “Scare PewDiePie,” his reality show on the paid “YouTube Red” tier. Kjellberg had increasingly come under criticism as of late over the content of some of his videos, with the situation exploding on January 11th. That’s when he used freelancer locator website Fiverr to hire two Indian men to shoot a video where they held up a sign that said “DEATH TO ALL JEWS.” The PewDiePie channel has also been dropped from Google Preferred, their advertising program for “brand-safe content.”
“I am sorry. I didn’t think they would actually do it. I feel partially responsible,” he says in the video. “I don’t feel good. I don’t feel too proud of this, I’m not gonna lie. I’m not antisemitic, or whatever it’s called, so don’t get the wrong idea. It was a funny meme, and I didn’t think it would work, okay. You can’t hold me…you can’t hold me…The Verge, stop. I swear I love Jews, I love ’em. I am so sorry. I don’t know what else to say.”
In December, Kjellberg had threatened to delete his channel if he reached the 50 million subscriber mark, only to admit a few days later that it was all a joke. His shows on the regular free tier of YouTube will continue without interruption, even if he may not make $15 million this year like he did in 2016.
[Photo: PewDiePie YouTube screen grab]
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