Anti-Semitism stirs up fierce backlash for popular YouTuber

Lauren Sanchez

Whether you have younger siblings, go on YouTube regularly or have seen his videos for yourself, there’s little doubt you have heard of the YouTuber Felix Kjellberg — also known as PewDiePie.

He quickly rose to fame on YouTube, going from 500,000 subscribers in 2012 to over 52 million subscribers this year, and the number is still growing. However, a recent video involving two Indian men, five dollars and a sign reading “Death to all Jews” has, thankfully, put a hold on his career.

This isn’t the first instance of anti-Semitism broadcasted on his channel. According to the Wall Street Journal, the video was one of nine which featured anti-Semitic content. In the past there was no real punishment that Kjellberg could receive from this, so he just continued on with this inappropriate “comedy” until now.

Due to the recent revelations made by the WSJ, Disney has dropped PewDiePie, and YouTube has cancelled the second season of the YouTube Red series “Scare PewDiePie.”

The punishment certainly fits the crime. If you ask me, he should be taken off YouTube completely. But the cavalry has arrived, and many of the YouTuber’s fans have begun defending his actions, saying that the jokes were all taken out of context because no one understands his “dark humor.”

Several YouTubers, including Mark “Markiplier” Fischbach and Sean “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin have also voiced their support for Kjellberg on Twitter; the hashtag “I Stand with PewDiePie” has started to spread all over social media.

Even if the YouTuber himself isn’t a neo-Nazi, he is normalizing, justifying and validating the ideas of Nazis; the presence of Nazi-sympathizers in his comment section serves to prove this.

By making jokes saying “death to all Jews” and “Hitler did nothing wrong” he is telling neo-Nazis their way of thinking is acceptable, which also implies to the Jewish community that he promotes that way of thinking. His fans and future neo-Nazis are only validating him and are giving him the opportunity to do this all again.

Not only that, but PewDiePie’s fanbase consists of children as young as seven, my cousin being one of them. His “entertainment” enters the minds of very impressionable children who go to school and most likely repeat everything they hear him say. He is raising a community of 50 million young adults to think like him, and he is still somehow on YouTube.

Moreover, he knows what he’s doing is terrible, he admitted that in his “apology” video, and yet he is still making these jokes and spreading the hate.

This isn’t “dark humor,” this is the spread of anti-Semitic propaganda via sub-par Let’s Play videos, saying that the genocide of an entire race is nothing more than a joke, and that’s all it ever will be. Sympathizing with neo-Nazis is disgusting, sympathizing with PewDiePie is allowing him to get away with it, and everyone who makes a post with the hashtag “I Stand with PewDiePie” deserves to get called out as much as he does.