Following recent public attention to a pattern of anti-semitic sentiments in videos by YouTube personality Felix Kjellberg, known popularly as PewDiePie, supporters of the embattled star have rallied to defend their egos against the threat posed by the probability that someone they openly like may be a racist.
“I love PewDiePie, and I’m one hundred percent sure there’s no way he’s a racist. I know because I’m not a racist,” clarified Clarissa Stroup, a high school student, in a Tumblr post. “If PewDiePie was a racist I wouldn’t like him anymore, but I still do. So he isn’t a racist.”
In response to videos posted by Kjellberg last month depicting a man dressed as Jesus Christ stating that “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong,” as well as two men he hired to hold a sign declaring “Death to All Jews,” the comedian was dropped from lucrative partnerships with Disney’s Maker Studios and YouTube, the latter of which also removed Kjellberg’s show from its Google Premium advertising service.
“Come on people, it was a fucking joke. Have you even seen his videos? PewDiePie is a comedian! He’s edgy,” rationalized Shaun Webster, age twenty-four, on Facebook. “This stuff about ‘death to the jews’ and whatever – it’s sort of like when a white comedian uses the n-word. It’s fine because it’s a joke, and you should never be offended by comedy.”
“Plus a lot of other shows are way worse than him.”
Shortly after the actions by YouTube and Disney, Kjellberg posted a video to his fifty million YouTube subscribers to address the controversy, apologizing for offending viewers while also passionately lashing out at the Wall Street Journal for what he claimed was “an attack by the media.”
“The only reason this is even a controversy is because the mainstream media is reporting on it. PewDiePie didn’t do anything wrong. The problem is the mainstream media,” added Stroup. “They’re out to get him! Did any of the things they’re saying about him even really happen? To be honest this sounds like more fake news to me.”
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