In a new YouTube video, PewDiePie has rejected allegations of anti-Semitism claims made by Disney.
The world’s highest paid YouTube star said the allegations – which resulted in Disney cutting ties with him – were “insane” and “unfair”.
PewDiePie said any offensive comments he had made were taken out of context and that he had been “blatantly misrepresented”.
Some of the Swede’s videos in the past few months were found to contain Nazi references or anti-Semitic imagery.
Image source Wikimedia
PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, said in his YouTube video: “I am sorry for the words I used as I know they offended people.
“I do strongly believe that you can joke about anything, but I also believe that there is a right way and not the best way to joke about things.”
PewDiePie said that as a “rookie comedian” he could take jokes too far.
The YouTube star insisted that he did not support right-wing groups that advocated hatred and that recent articles highlighting his alleged anti-Semitism by newspapers including the Wall Street Journal were personal attacks and attempts to discredit him.
He is reported to have made $15 million through YouTube in 2016.
PewDiePie has been associated with Disney via Maker Studios, a company with a network of YouTube stars. He has drawn several billions of views per month and generated vast amounts of income from advertising.
On February 14, Disney said that while Felix Kjellberg had a reputation for being provocative and irreverent, some of the videos he made were “inappropriate”.
In one of the controversial videos, PewDiePie paid two Indians through a crowd-sourcing website to hold up a sign which read “Death to all Jews”.
In his response to the criticism, PewDiePie said he was trying to show how people “would say anything for $5”.
In other videos the YouTuber also showed swastikas drawn by a fan, played the Nazi Party anthem and did a brief Hitler salute – all of which he says was done as a joke and taken out of context.
PewDiePie said that he had been accused of “normalizing hatred” in the jokes, whereas in fact it was his media critics who were doing this by their unfair attacks on him.
YouTube itself said earlier that it had canceled the release of Felix Kjellberg’s new series Scare PewDiePie 2, and had dropped him from its Google Preferred scheme, which highlights advertiser-friendly content creators.
In 2016, PewDiePie was temporarily suspended from Twitter after making jokes about ISIS.
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