YouTube Red has given the boot to one of its biggest stars for the use of anti-Semitic jokes and Nazi-related images in a series of videos.
The Alphabet-owned video service has canceled the second season of popular reality show Scare PewDiePie from its YouTube Red subscription service. YouTube also yanked Swedish vlogger Felix Kjellberg’s PewDiePie channel from Google Preferred, its premium advertising program that is used to sell trending “brand-safe content.”
“We’ve decided to cancel the release of ‘Scare PewDiePie’ season 2 and we’re removing the PewDiePie channel from Google Preferred,” YouTube said in a statement to the media today.
The nine videos in question were spotted by the Wall Street Journal. Three of the videos, which were posted in January, have been removed from the PewDiePie channel, although it is not known if YouTube or Kjellberg took them down.
One of the offending videos showed men from Sri Lanka holding a sign that read ‘Death to All Jews.’ Another video portrayed a man dressed as Jesus who said: “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong.” Kjellberg, who paid the men in the videos, said in a blog post the clips do not reflect his own opinions but, instead, show how far people will go to earn money.
“I was trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online. I picked something that seemed absurd to me—That people on Fiverr would say anything for $5,” he wrote.
“I think it’s important to say something and I want to make one thing clear: I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes. As laughable as it is to believe that I might actually endorse these people, to anyone unsure on my standpoint regarding hate-based groups: No, I don’t support these people in any way.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, the men in the video holding the sign said they did not understand what the sign meant, but have apologized for their actions.
Kjellberg, who has some 53 million subscribers, has enjoyed immense success for his edgy and often profanity-laced videos. His Scare PewDiePie subscription show was produced by Disney’s Maker Studios and Skybound Entertainment, which is best known for The Walking Dead.
Maker Studios has since cut ties with the controversial vlogger.
“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,’’ Maker Studios said in a statement. “Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward.”
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.
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