PewDiePie, the Swedish vlogger whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, used the racial slur during a live stream Sunday about an opponent he was fighting in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds game: “What a f—ing n—–… Sorry, but what the f—.”
In a video posted Tuesday, PewDiePie said, “It was something I said in the heat of the moment. I said the worst word I could possibly think of, and it just sort of slipped out. I’m not going to make any excuses as to why it did, because there are no excuses for it.”
Added Kjellberg, “It’s not that I think I can say or do whatever I want and get away with it. That’s not it at all — I’m just an idiot… I’m really sorry if I offended, hurt or disappointed anyone with all of this. Being in the position I am, I should know better… I owe it to my audience and to myself to do better than this, because I know I’m better than this.”
PewDiePie’s YouTube channel has more than 57 million subscribers, making it the most-followed channel on the video service.
The n-word controversy blew up after Kjellberg earlier this year lost his deals with Disney’s Maker Studios and YouTube, after publicity surrounding his pranks to pay random strangers to hold up a sign that said “Death to All Jews” and reports that several of his videos featured Nazi imagery. YouTube cancelled season two of “Scare PewDiePie” on YouTube Red and pulled his channel from its premium-advertising program.
“I’m disappointed in myself, because it seems like I’ve learned nothing from these past controversies,” PewDiePie said in the video Tuesday.
After reports Sunday about PewDiePie using the n-word, Campo Santo co-founder Sean Vanaman, whose studio develops the game Firewatch, tweeted that the company plans to file DMCA takedown requests to try to remove all videos of Kjellberg playing his company’s titles.
Watch PewDiePie’s full response: