It’s not a small world anymore for PewDiePie. The YouTube sensation has lost a deal with Disney after some anti-Semitic videos were published on his channel.
The man known as PewDiePie is Felix Kjellberg, a 27-year-old Swedish guy with a YouTube channel that has over 53 million subscribers.
The controversy started after The Wall Street Journal published that Kjellberg had posted a video on January 11 in which two men appeared holding a banner that said “Death to all Jews,” after which Kjellberg started laughing in surprise.
The Wall Street Journal also found other nine videos in which Kjellberg included anti-Semitic jokes, so it was only a matter of time before this reveal had repercussions.
The newspaper contacted Disney’s Maker Studios on Monday to discuss Kjellberg’s videos, and the company’s first reaction was to severe all ties with the vlogger star.
Of course, Kjellberg was supposed to have editorial independence for his videos, but the company has stated that “although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate.”
No more Disney magic for PewDiePie, then.
But Kjellberg has been defending the video, and he wants to clarify that it was only a joke that went too far.
Kjellberg’s YouTube videos rose to fame because of his ability to create provocative and controversial content. He has even referenced Hitler several times. He is, according to Forbes, the highest-paid YouTuber of 2016, with a fortune of $15 million.
He’ll definitely need that money if all his sponsors abandon him.