PewDiePie is the largest channel on YouTube, with more than 54 million subscribers.
Recently the content creator has come under fire with media outlets calling him “anti-Semitic.”
It started over a website called “Fiverr,” in which you pay someone to do something for $5.
The PewDiePie channel is a comedic channel and wanted to show how ridiculous this website was. For $5, Felix Kjellberg, the YouTuber who owns the channel PewDiePie, asked for someone to drink bleach, asked “Jesus” to say “that PewDiePie sucks” and asked two Indian boys to hold up a sign that said “death to all Jews.”
Only two of the three listed occurred, as no one was willing to drink bleach for $5.
The controversial event was the holding of the sign.
This was of course meant to be a joke and in jest, but the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets decided to take his work out of context.
Media outlets libeled Kjellberg, calling him an anti-Semite, using the video out of context. The libel from these media outlets have cost Kjellberg and his colleagues their YouTube Red show, as well as Kjellberg’s sponsorship with Disney and Maker Studios.
In the same video, which has now been deleted, Kjellberg immediately apologized after he made the two boys hold up the sign, not knowing that they would actually do it.
As Jan Cornelius Villano, a student on campus, put it, these media outlets “take his work out of context and apply it to their narrative.”
PewDiePie has made many jokes about Nazism and anti-Semitic jokes in the past many of these the Wall Street Journal and other outlets compiled into their piece. With the plethora of jokes, it is easy to understand why someone may think such if they’ve only seen a few videos.
The whole idea of political correctness, the idea of censoring speech, even if the speech is distasteful, is a dangerous one. It leads to moments like this where one’s speech has no bearing on their personality or beliefs. Due to Kjellberg’s jokes on Nazism, the Wall Street Journal and other outlets decided they could libel him by using his work out of context, vilifying him.
If PewDiePie wasn’t such a large and influential channel, this can kill a man’s livelihood.
This was a joke, and wasn’t meant to be serious.
It is stated within his video, which he even goes further to reiterate in another video. People have become offended all too easily, however, it is understandable if someone doesn’t like a joke or finds it distasteful. The issue lies in the matter of ruining a man’s life and career over a joke that some found to be distasteful or they did not like.
A lot of people enjoyed the video and thought the joke was hilarious and showed exactly what he meant by how ridiculous Fiverr is.
The Wall Street Journal decided to report this incident as news, but it is click bait in order to gain traffic. It was a get rich quick scheme off the back of another man’s labor.
Other YouTuber’s spoke upon the matter, like the creator from the channel Markiplier coming to the defense of Kjellberg.
It is understandable if a company doesn’t wish to “hinder its image,” but what’s also despicable on the Journal’s coverage of these events is how they contacted Disney directly and didn’t give Kjellberg a chance to respond. Only after the fact did they arrive at his home to gain a comment, which Kjellberg denied as he had already posted a response on his personal channel. It was a direct attack against Kjellberg and his channel.
If you find the joke distasteful, it is understandable, but that gives no right to libel nor pressure the comedian who made the joke into a grave. Just don’t laugh at the joke, say you didn’t like it and move on.