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Disney cuts ties with YouTube star PewDiePie over anti-Semitic videos

Maker Studios said that it has severed ties with PewDiePie over a number of videos he posted.

Image: PewDiePie via YouTube

A DISNEY-OWNED studio has dropped the world’s highest earning YouTube star from its roster, over a number of videos he posted containing anti-Semitic content.

Maker Studios said that it has severed ties with Felix Kjellberg aka PewDiePie, the hugely popular YouTube star.

In a statement carried on a large number of news outlets, Maker said that it had finished its relationship with Kjellberg due to videos he posted:

“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 has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward.

Kjellberg is the highest earning YouTube star. According to a Forbes list he earned close to €15 million in 2015/16 and collectively his videos have generated tens of billions of views.

He rose to popularity by providing voiceovers to him playing video games but has also been known to carry out pranks and has courted controversy in the past.

His relationship with Maker  was a large part of Kjellberg’s empire, giving him co-ownership of the multi-channel network Revelmode, which produces videos and merchandise.

An investigation by the Wall Street Journal uncovered a number of videos posted by Kjellberg over the past number of months which have included anti-Semitic content or Nazi references.

One of the controversial videos involved him paying two people in India to hold up signs saying “Death to all Jews”.

Other videos involved him playing the Nazi Party anthem and showing pictures of swastikas. Some of the videos in question have since been removed from his account.

In a statement carried on his Tumblr account, Kjellberg defended the video but also said he understood the jokes were offensive.

“I was trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online,” he said.

“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.”

He said that it was not his intention to cause any offence.

Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.

Read: Game developer gets in trouble for paying PewDiePie and others for positive reviews

Read: Here’s how much the most popular YouTubers earned this year

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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