Sweden’s biggest entertainment export, famous YouTuber Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg (better known by his handle, PewDiePie) is at the center of yet another scandal over his “casual” racism. With over 57 million subscribers, the mega-popular gamer has cultivated a channel revered by Gen-Z gamers worldwide.
Featuring an assortment of inane comedy bits along with game commentary/streaming, PewDiePie’s 7-year tenure as a solidified internet personality has netted the vlogger over $124 million.
History of Critical Backlash
Kjellberg’s latest livestream fail is not the first time the gamer sparked controversy over his insensitive and hateful remarks. The vlogger was suspended from Twitter in 2016 over a joke about joining ISIS, and his partnerships with both Disney Maker Studios and Youtube were severed earlier this year after an anti-Semitic prank went viral. It was later revealed that PewDiePie hired two men (who did not speak English) to record a video holding up a sign that read: “Death to All Jews.”
PewDiePie spent months distancing himself from alt-right hate groups that eagerly branded him a Nazi, but is once again getting intense backlash from a recent racist remark. This Sunday, the vlogger expressed his anger at another player during a livestream gameplay of “Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds” and without pause, freely used the n-word.
“What a f–king n—-r. Sorry, but what the f–k?” Kjellberg tossed his head back and stammered, “I don’t mean that in a bad way.”
The response to the gamer’s racial slur has been swift and unforgiving. Kjellberg’s former supporters in the gaming industry made quick moves to distance themselves from the Youtuber. Sean Vanaman, co-founder of the creative studio Campo Santo that created the game “Firewatch” tweeted that his company will move to have Kjellberg’s gameplay videos removed.
PewDiePie has not yet issued a statement regarding the incident.