YouTube’s most-watched creator, PewDiePie, has been dumped by Maker Studios, which is owned by Disney, as a result of videos with anti-Semitic content. In one, posted Jan. 11, he paid people via Fiverr to create a sign that said, “Death to All Jews,” a clip he included in his YouTube video, though he said, “I didn’t think they would actually do it.”
The Wall Street Journal reported this evening that Felix Kjellberg has, over the past six months, “posted nine videos that include anti-Semitic jokes or Nazi imagery, according to a review of his channel by The Wall Street Journal.”
Because of that, a Maker Studios spokesperson told the WSJ, “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 has officially ended “its first ever joint venture,” the WSJ reported, which meant it was “Kjellberg co-owners of a company that produces videos, mobile apps and merchandise,” so PewDiePie can now “produce videos independently or find a new partner.”
Maker Studios produced Scare PewDiePie, a YouTube Red series that had been renewed for a second season. (Update: The second season has been cancelled by YouTube.)
On the show, which was executive produced by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, “PewDiePie encounters thrilling, chilling and hilarious situations inspired by his favorite video games,” according to its description.
On Tumblr Sunday, Kjellberg wrote about criticism of his videos. That post said, in part,
“I make videos for my audience. I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary. I know my audience understand that and that is why they come to my channel. Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.
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.”