YouTuber PewDiePie has apologized for his controversial anti-Semitic content. The vlogger has received criticism of late for a two-week old video that involved commissioning a service to make and display a banner that read “Death to all Jews.” The subsequent furore led to both Disney and YouTube severing ties with the popular personality.
Now, in a new video titled “My Response,” PewDiePie has apologized, saying, “I am sorry for the words I used as I know they offended people and I admit the joke itself went too far.”
The vlogger, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, states in the video that the incident was intended “to show how stupid the website is and how far you can push it by paying $5.”
“I do strongly believe that you can joke about anything,” he continued. “But I also believe there’s a right way and not the best way to joke about things. I love to push boundaries but I would consider myself a rookie comedian and I’ve definitely made mistakes before. But it’s always been a growing and learning experience for me. It’s something that I’ve learned to appreciate and I think this whole situation has definitely been that for me. It’s something that I’m going to keep in mind moving forward.
“I don’t want people to think that I can joke about what I want and it doesn’t affect me [because] I’m PewDiePie. I understand these things have consequences. This video is not me trying to justify that.”
Later in the video, PewDiePie claims he has been mistreated by the media, which he accuses of taking what he says “out of context.” He claims the Wall Street Journal, which broke the news about Disney and YouTube severing their ties with him, “pushed [the companies] to the corner … cornering them, forcing them to sever ties with me.”
“This whole thing … was an attack towards me,” he goes on. “It was an attack by the media to discredit me, decrease my influence, and my economic worth.
“If people don’t like my jokes, I fully respect that. I understand that. I acknowledge that I took things too far and that’s something I will definitely keep in mind moving forward. But the reaction and the outrage has been nothing but insanity.
“Again, it’s fine to not agree with a person’s sense of humor, but calling me a fascist … how is that helping anyone? Some people are saying these jokes are normalizing hatred.”
Kjellberg asserted that his jokes were not normalizing hatred, and turned the accusation onto his detractors in the media. “Is there any hate in what I do? No. Absolutely not. Personally, I think they are the ones normalizing hatred.”
Lastly, the YouTuber hits back at the Wall Street Journal in particular by saying, “I’m still here. I’m still making videos. Nice try Wall Street Journal. Try again motherf***rs.”
PewDiePie previously responded to the controversy by stating he in no way supports “any kind of hateful attitudes,” and says his channel is not the place to come for serious politics. “I make videos for my audience,” he wrote, “I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary. I know my audience understand that and that is why they come to my channel. Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.”
YouTube guidelines forbid content that “promotes violence or hatred against individuals or groups,” including language that attacks someone for their race, gender, sexuality, or religion.