PewDiePie Apologizes for Anti-Semitic Jokes, but Attacks Media for Taking Them Out of Context

pewdiepie
Via YouTube

PewDiePie, the internet star whose business deals were dropped by Maker Studios and YouTube this past week over pranks he staged involving anti-Semitic rhetoric, posted a video Thursday responding to the controversy.

The vlogger, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, apologized for the videos, one of which detailed a stunt in which he paid two Indian men to hold up a sign that said, “Death to All Jews” and then say, “Subscribe to Keemstar” (the latter being a reference to another YouTuber). Kjellberg also reiterated, as he said in a Tumblr post on Sunday, that his intention was to point out how crazy it was that it’s possible to use Fiverr to pay random people $5 to get them to say outrageous comments, and that he absolutely doesn’t support hate groups.

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“I’m sorry for the words that I used, as I know they offended people,” he said. “And I admit that the joke itself went too far.”

Kjellberg added, “I do strongly believe that you can joke about anything, but I also believe that there’s a right way and not the best way to joke about things.”

But he also attacked the media, particularly the Wall Street Journal, which originally reported that Disney’s Maker had cut its ties to him. He claimed the newspaper and other news organizations have taken his “jokes” out of context to inaccurately portray him “as a Nazi.” PewDiePie characterized the Journal article as “a personal attack.”

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“Old-school media does not like internet personalities because they’re scared of us,” he said. “We have so much influence and such a large voice — and I don’t think they understand it.” He called out a 2013 opinion piece by Variety Co-Editor-in-Chief Andrew Wallenstein titled, “If PewDiePie Is YouTube’s Top Talent, We’re All Doomed.”

In July 2015, Variety featured PewPiePie on the cover of the “#Famechangers” issue, citing him as the most influential digital star in the industry.

Kjellberg complained that the media (until now) has only acknowledged how much money he makes; Forbes estimates PewDiePie had a gross income of $15 million for the 12 months ending June 2016. “I’ve literally raised millions to charities — that’s rarely ever spoken about,” he said. Charities that PewDiePie has raised more than $1 million for to date include Charity: Water and Save the Children.

At the end of the 11-minute video, Kjellberg gets choked up in thanking other YouTubers who have spoken out in support of him.

Watch Kjellberg’s full video:

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  1. Drink Bleach Everyday says:

    Real story: Maker Studios is not making Disney any money. They’re downsizing it & won’t be renewing the contracts of anyone doing game content. Pewdiepie is the only reason Disney bought Maker in the first place.

    Plus the WSJ is super salty that Youtubers make big money off ad revenue, & that people are getting their news from Youtube, while they’re losing subscribers, so they cherrypick unrelated out-of-context jokes from different videos from Youtube’s biggest star & & email them to Disney. People have already found deleted tweets that back up this conspiracy.

  2. truth teller says:

    You still don’t seem to get it PewDiePie did these memes to satirize FAKE NEWS. That’s why it’s soooo funny and the WSJ just flat out fell for it. Thus proving their complete LACK of credibility. Months ago, before he started making these memes he stated that the problem of media slandering him and others was becoming out of control and he wasn’t going to take it anymore. This was a trap set for the Media by him on PURPOSE ( He announced this beforehand “before that annunciation he NEVER exhibited even the slightest sign of bigotry”) He also stated that he was willing to accept the consequences. But He knew that in the end this would completely discredit the media, Which it has.

  3. Alana says:

    Another crap article if you ask me…. Instead of focusing on more important shit happening in the world, they decide to attack a youtuber…. Now you cant joke about anything with out people getting butt hurt over it… My professor made jokes about how women should stay in the kitchen and iron his socks and everybody laughed because it was a fucking JOKE!!!! Nobody fucking bitched and cried about how it hurt their feelings and shit…. Yall are just looking for something to bash on pewdiepie lile usual… What, jealous because millions of people pay more attention to him than yalls boring ass articles based on bullshit?? Or is the fact that he makes more money than yall? Based on all these articles focusing around his money I’d say thats the fucking reason.

  4. Patrick Dunwhitty says:

    I would love nothing more than to see this idiot go down but not like this. Classic overreaction by sponsors.

  5. Cass says:

    LMAO The great American way: Blame someone else. F’in loser.

  6. Rob Petry says:

    Bad humor and bad things said he stepped over the line My opinion. However H3H3 who is jewish and his Pewdiepies close friend posted a video saying he is not antisemetic. He said Pewdiepie crossed the line. Mel Brooks made many movies with Hitler and Nazis anyone want to weigh in? Pewdiepie gained over a 100,000 subscribers and his views were 15 million yesterday so what did they do to him? Facebook or Twitch will probably give him a billion dollars and take him away from Youtube. They didnt kill the king they now cant do anything to him at all and he’ll be at a 100 million subscribers by year end and will pummel Youtube the whole time. Won the battle lost the war. Youtubers have no producers, directors
    or anyone to keep them in line so they don’t care.

  7. Rudy Mario says:

    Obviously a swedish nut case. All that cold has degenerated his brains. Deport to Sweden thanks to Trump.

  8. jaykaydx says:

    So a jew like Sarah Silverman can disparage Asians and another Jew like Bill Maher can sprout anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry but if someone like PewDiePie does something similar they’re subject to sanctions and lose business. Sounds like blatant hypocrisy if you ask me!

  9. Random person says:

    the media as to understand that pewdiepie likes to joke. stupid people

  10. John says:

    I was OBVIOUSLY only making a joke, didn’t you see that? If PoopDiePie is allowed to make ‘edgy’ jokes, why shouldn’t I? I learned my craft watching Poop’s great work. He made me do it ;-)

  11. Meme me says:

    You feel the jealousy you feel it?

  12. cjbqhchavs says:

    You people have heard of Bill Burr right, awesome comedian. In the past few months alone he released a stand-up comedy special on Netflix where he talks about how people think of Hitler as the worst when he only killed single digit million people when Mussolini killed multiple millions, he also talked about how the world population has grown a lot and they need to sink random cruse ships cause people who use those are useless and there will be no loss to humanity. If you just take this out of context you’ll have a whole other issue on hand. Southpark, standup comedians and people like that have always been people saying obscene things if you take comments from a Comedy Central Roast out of context you’ll have the weirdest shit on your hands.

    But I don’t see wsj writing about them, the narrative of “this idiot youtube kid makes millions by making racist statements” sells more subscriptions for the dying medium.
    p.s Variety, get Disqus comments or some shit what is this old ass method of commenting.

    • TTM says:

      Please don’t couple Bill Burr with this hack. Bill has a thought out narrative that he works on months on end before he puts it out. This guy diarrheas videos with the mentality of a 15-year old thinking anything shock is humor.

    • John says:

      “Mussolini killed multiple millions” ??? You sure about that, dude? Don’t you wanna check Wikipedia first? Maybe you wanted to write about Stalin?

  13. Joe says:

    I’m sorry, but you are horrible. This is literally the first comment I see and you just basically said, “you feel the pressure”, “kill yourself”. Like, wtf? Pewdiepie didn’t force you to watch his videos. Pewdiepie didn’t personally come into your life and disrespect or torture your family members, friends or general loved ones. He just makes videos on YouTube. Seriously, I get you disliking him, but geez. How are you one to take your time out of your day to just say, “kill yourself”, to somehow who hardly seems to affect you. Unless you just believe what the Wall Street Journal says. Then, I’d say to do abit of digging for yourself from both sides’ arguments and then make a consensus yourself.

  14. spaghetti snek says:

    why so angry hun? don’t be upsetti, have some spaghetti

  15. loco73 says:

    “Internet personality”…nah just your garden variety douchebag and asshole…

  16. Lenny says:

    PoopPePie is a Nazi. Simple as that. Don’t listen to any of his nonsense.

  17. Ashley says:

    Freedom of speech, opinions are opinions, jokes are jokes, not funny without a grain of truth. IRREVERANCE IS HEALTHY. You don’t like Pie, don’t watch. Ypu probably never have and never will anyway, you’re on the bandwagon to virtue signal. Go find some real news about the good things happening in America right now…

  18. Keenan S says:

    It isn’t perfect, but this is the only article I’ve seen from a major media organization that provides any sort of context for Felix’s remarks. Thanks, Mr. Spangler.

  19. Freddy says:

    I dont know why the media keeps playing around with the facts. Probably they think they are hurting him, but no, you’re all just giving him the chance to find a better position.

  20. Nott Smith says:

    Really? It’s obvious the writer is biased. The use of negative words such as ‘complained’, ‘called out’, and ‘attacked’ portrays a negative picture of him. And a small attempt to conceal their bias they made a small mention of the charity. As for promoting hate? What about Donald Trump haters, there have been numerous threats that he has been condemned to. We should be focusing on something more important.

  21. Quaker says:

    Jokes are fair game…except if they are about Jews or homosexuals.

    • Jim says:

      Really? Since when are jokes about blacks, women, transgender people or certain ethnic groups O.K.? Truth is, it’s never O.K. and you everybody knows that. PoopPePie certainly knows that, but he wanted to stay ‘edgy’ for his audience of low-IQ pervs and hate speech lovers…

  22. Jim says:

    Cry your crocodile tears, you disgusting human being…what about making a large donation to anti-hate groups or the Anti-Defamation League ? That would mean something, not your phony, girlish pseudo apology. We need institutions that protect us from hate speech crazies like you, so why don’t you pay for them, PoopPePie? That would mean something, not just words.

  23. Jim says:

    Cry your crocodile tears, you disgusting moron…what about making a large donation to anti-hate groups or the Jewish ant-defamation group? That would mean something, not your phony, girlish pseudo apology. We need institutions that protect us from hate speech crazies like you, so why don’t you pay for them, PoopPePie? That would mean something, not just words.

    • Omega says:

      You’re an uninformed idiot. That man has donated millions towards charity. You see a news article which you’ll blatantly believe, shows how uneducated and how much of a sheep you are. FOLLOW THE HERD, FOLLOW THE HERD WETHER! (You probably don’t know what ‘wether’ means so here you go big boy: http://bfy.tw/AAjT

    • H8ler says:

      also on this comment, saving children is less important than funding anti-hate group?

    • Nott Smith says:

      Someone is feeling mature today…Oh wait, obviously not you. PoopPePie, seriously?

  24. Maralynn Kearney says:

    Thank you to Todd Spangler. Unlikely most articles you were looking to give people news. A majority of other sites are just looking to bash on pewdiepie to make money. You took what his apology as well as what he messed up on., instead of just hating on him and calling him a neo-nazi for your own personal gain. For this I congratulate and thank you for your honesty.

  25. Mike Jones says:

    He is wrong. Some things should not be joked about. If you were raped, forced in to slavery, or had 6 million of your people exterminated in ovens you might not be so glib about those things.

  26. Peter White says:

    BOYCOTT the Racist.
    BOYCOTT the PewDiePie.
    BOYCOTT the ass-clown.

  27. This is Embarrassing says:

    Variety, you may have done more than most publications and reported about his raising to charity but stop trying to cover your ass. The article it comes from is about Pewdiepie’s earnings with the charity thing only mentioned as a side note.

  28. Tim James says:

    The lack of context came from his ham-fisted mismanagement of comedy. Don’t blame others because you suck at your job. We have QUITE enough of that already.

  29. RatBasterd says:

    Here’s your next president people. He’s learned from the best.

  30. diemeng says:

    Wow. Love how you guys STILL in the article are subtling manipulating the facts. And btw, you guys did NOT give lots of attention to his charities, STOP lying. And he recently raised over a million for aides. Where’s your article about that?

    And why keep bringing up how much money he makes? Seems like the writers are bitter. He never talks about it, and the guy drives a little cooper for god sakes. He is literally self made and puts out videos everyday and worked his way up from being a hot dog stand seller, the money didn’t just drop in his lap. Try actually doing SOME real news and maybe you’re viewership trends will actually start to reverse.

    • Manny No says:

      “he recently raised over a million for aides” – I guess that’s good for people who need personal assistants. Didn’t work out so well for Jared Fogle.

    • RexA says:

      Oh, I see, CHARITABLE people are allowed to be racists! Thanks so much for setting us straight on that.

      Kinda feeling like a hot dog now. I wonder if Felix can whip one up for me. He should have time now.

      • H8ler says:

        okay so first pewdiepie will not work as a hotdog man.. you do know that he is a millionare so if this truly would ruin his carrer (witch it isn’t going to) he would just retire also this is what i want you to do right now, first take off your diaper and put on your big bog underwear and pants AND LEARN TO TAKE A JOKE.

      • Haris Robinson says:

        did you watch the video or are you basing your comments off titles alone?

  31. Robert Mielewczyk says:

    Is a sign death to all fake media okay? I wonder what would they say if he picked that sign instead

    • RexA says:

      It would be odd, because HE’S fake media more than anything, but at least it wouldn’t direct his hatred at a specific religious or ethnic group. He deserves to wither away into obscurity. Then again, so do most charistmatic but ultimately talentless YouTube “celebrities”.

      • Jason says:

        Honestly it’s not like you could do much better. They have buckets more talent (and money) than you do. Just look at his subscribers

  32. joebvfxJoe says:

    Rightfully so, the people have had enough of the lies and slander from the traditional media and this is just another example of it. The same media that lied about gamergate, hurt Bernie and tried but failed to take down Trump.

  33. This is really sad you guys claim to have reported on his whole deeds for charity, as if there was a whole article dedicated to it, When in reality a short paragraph was used to report it under an article focusing on how he made 8 million dollars in 2015. Variety you deceive no one but yourselves only

  34. arthurcomarty says:

    Sarah Silverman can repeatably use anti-Asian slurs and is celebrated as an edgy comedian but PewDiePie is a Nazi? What should I expect from Hollywood and the media.

    • Jacques Strappe says:

      Nice false equivalency. Sarah Silverman works for Sarah Silverman, not paid by YouTube or Disney, both of which have corporate reputations to uphold and shareholders to appease. It’s called free market capitalism where “free speech” is as free of controversial remarks as possible. No one is saying that this young internet twit can’t say or think whatever he wants, he just can’t say it on all media platforms or as a paid representative for all media companies..

      • Michael Dunn says:

        You’re missing the point. The media somehow has every right to attack and defame someone for out of context jokes about a topic that people are still overly sensitive about, yet the media completely shies away from calling out the likes of Silverman. The endorsements are inconsequential and ultimately corporations can choose to back whomever they wish (as he addresses had you watched the video, but you’re too pompous for that and besides you have an agenda to push), the problem is trying to forcibly libel someone into obscurity through sensationalism because you’re genuinely afraid of the rise of new media. Don’t you see how stupid you sound touting false equivalency as if it weren’t a strawman in the context of this argument. Your stupidity would almost be pitiable if you weren’t so arrogant.

  35. mcg says:

    History shows that the sign posted in the video reinforces a message that has been repeated for years and frankly centuries, fuels hate, and has led to horrific acts perpetrated against people of my faith. It is something that is universally known and understood to be a message of hate no matter what the context in which it is spoken or written, other than in a discussion group or in use as a teaching tool. This young man needs to now work creatively to try and truly erase that message in any way possible.

    • RexA says:

      If anyone doesn’t deserve the wealth and fame bestowed upon them, it’s pretty much EVERY YouTube “celebrity”, a bunch of entitled, superficial, interchangeable millennial fools who’ve demonstrated all to well, sadly, that you can act like ass-hats and get rich. It’s about time we saw one of these infants brought outside their little bubbles and shamed like this. Far too many of these clowns think they’re some new breed of comedic geniuses but they so rarely think through the larger ramifications of their stupid acts. And any apology accompanied by an attack on the legitimate mainstream media is NOT an apology. Hope this dickhead’s career is over for good. I’m sure he’s got enough dough to last him a few years, unfortunately.

      • Hughmungous says:

        You need pull your head out and realise that who you call a clown is more popular and richer than you. And the media has been known to attack all celebrities just for clicks and views. Personally I would rather trust a YouTuber than those biased opinions.

      • AJ says:

        We like to keep humor separate from our personal beliefs for a reason. Any normal person who pays attention in school is going to understand the gravity of antisemitism. The most disturbing part about all of this is that the people who are legitimately spreading hate in the world are getting off scot-free get very little attention from the media, whilst those who are just doing what they love (YouTubers) are constantly attacked by people. Pewdiepie didn’t ask to be a millionaire, YouTube and Google did that, and I think he deserves it.

        You people need a better understanding of what hard work actually is, physical labor is probably the easiest form of work.

  36. Terrible Journalism says:

    Whoops. I thought I was on CNN for a minute.

  37. Joe Grpper says:

    This is the reason I have adblock installed

  38. I’m sorry but this is not the first time he has apologised about his joke. Your article is written as if it’s the first time he acknowledged that he took things too far and this is not the truth. There has been about 2 or 3 videos previous to this, and making him out to seem like this is the first time he’s responded is unfair and biased to make him out to appear as if he is uncaring until it affected his pockets. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Todd Spangler says:

      No, he didn’t actually apologize in his previous statements or videos.

      • I don’t think you and I watched the same videos.

        He apologised as soon as the video was released and then apologised again when the two men had their fiverr account suspended. He even set up a go fund me account to try to keep them going, along with trying to reach fiverr to unsuspend them.

        I don’t understand how any of that appears non apologetic?

      • Anonyopine says:

        I see the author replied to this comment. I believe you misrepresented the facts when you said you reported on his charity. In fact on the linked article, there is only one paragraph describing the charity while the main focus (its almost amazing the irony of how you did exactly what pewdiepie said the media does to him) is a report of his earnings. Stop giving yourselves false credit.

      • Jerome Cheng says:

        he apologized right after he saw the sign in the Fiverr video.

      • This is really sad you guys claim to have reported on his whole deeds for charity, as if there was a whole article dedicated to it, When in reality a short paragraph was used to report it under an article focusing on how he made 8 million dollars in 2015. Variety you deceive no one but yourselves only

      • James says:

        Yes, but he has admitted that it went too far and offended people.

  39. Jiminy Critic says:

    The Aryan hairdo’s not helping your cause, dude…

  40. Ewan Kennedy says:

    It’s sad to see what people would write just get noticed and stay relevant. There’s reporting the news and there’s manipulating and/or exaggerating a story and to generate more traffic and revenue. I think to be noticed as a journalist or article author you must have the ability to lie and potentially damaged an individual’s life then go home to your family and pretend that this isn’t what you do for a living.

  41. Dunstan says:

    You’re a bit too taken with yourself, Kjellberg. Old media couldn’t give a flying fu*k about you but when anyone does something as outrageous and pathetic as your lame attempt at “humor,” you can put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.

    • Greg says:

      Dunstan, you speak with little to no meaning behind your empty words. The media obviously takes many things out of context to try and prove a point. If you listen to his response video and the videos that he posted about “anti semitism” It seems pretty obvious that he does not hate jews, any sane person would acknowledge that. The fact that The Wall Street Journal has the nerve to take his words out of context proves that Media does what they can to get money. The Wall Street Journal does not care about who the article is about as long as it sells.

    • James says:

      Sure he messed up, but the amount of attention he is receiving is beyond ridiculous at this point. He has admitted that the joke went too far and apologized. You cannot deny that media took advantage of these “stories” and turn them into something they really are not to begin with.

      • RexA says:

        It’s not ridiculous at all. If ANY OTHER “CELEBRITY” (even fake YouTube ones) did what he did, exactly the way that he did it (i.e. only thinking about himself instead of any consequences to his actions), they’d face EXACTLY the same public shaming that he has. Too frikkin’ bad that his “public” happens to be spread around the globe. At least now they’ll know the folly of feebly following “famous” people who’ve done literally nothing to earn their fame except exist.

    • Lying Media says:

      He has more viewers than almost every show on TV right now. You better get with the times. Adapt or die.

      • Michael Dunn says:

        Rex. Using interwebs, that kinda dooms your opinion to the chasms of a lost age right of the bat doesn’t it? Even used ironically we all understand the generational gap really has you clutching for any bit of validation for your outdated beliefs

      • James says:

        Rex. It is a very different type of humor. Just because you don’t find it funny, doesn’t mean those that do; “don’t have brains”.

      • RexA says:

        But viewers of actual TV shows have brains and don’t just laugh at any clown being silly on the interwebs, so quantity means literally NOTHING in this case.

  42. Gustavo H.R. says:

    You lie.

    By you, I mean you, media types.

  43. Jonathan Clein says:

    This is literally insane. The guy complains about how the media constantly portrays him falsely while trying to be somewhat funny in his own way and the media (including you Variety) misinterprets him, takes clips of him out context and blames him. The guy has been supportive of so many good causes yet that is rarely mentioned.

  44. Ugh says:

    I’m really tired of the reactionary BS here. He nails it. Fake news is everywhere and the left is just as bad and reactionary as the right.

    • Alex Jones says:

      One could argue that modern, dishonest, “clickbait” journalism is playing a key role in the current downfall of modern society.

      Funny thing is the media has prompted people to swing to the right. Notice how Brexit happened? If you were in the UK you’d notice how the media here were always portraying the leave option as “look what you get if you leave” and remain as “look what you lose if you leave”. No wonder that vote went how it did.

      Same thing happened with Trump. The media collectively pissed off a nation into voting one way instead of another.

  45. Vanessa Maynard says:

    You know as well as all of us, you have manipulated the context of his videos. Where’s your integrity? I guess it doesn’t exist in this pseudo-journalism world anymore. I’m disappointed in the media. Entirely. A veil of distrust will forever be laid upon your content. Shame on you.

  46. Liza says:

    If these signs/videos had been about a group other than Jews, new media would be going crazy with calls for bans and boycotts.

  47. omega says:

    liers lol

  48. Lying Media says:

    You are failing to mention the second sign that was held up and the context of the joke – give your readers full context!

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