PewDiePie Dropped by Disney, YouTube Over Anti-Semitic Videos

That's one reason Walt Disney Co.'s Maker Studios tapped PewDiePie, YouTube's biggest personality, who has amassed tens of millions of subscribers with off-the-cuff banter about video games and off-color jokes. The clip posted on January 11 shows two young men, who PewDiePie says he hired through the online freelance service Fiverr, dancing and laughing while displaying a banner reading "Death to all Jews". The video-sharing company is also removing PewDiePie's channel from its premium ad program, despite it having more than 53 million subscribers - the most of any channel on YouTube. According to a report, PewDiePie had posted nine videos that included anti-Semitic jokes or Nazi imagery.

In one of Kjellberg's videos, which have been removed from the site, two men were seen laughing and holding a banner that read "Death to all Jews".

The show's cancellation is likely to be the biggest blow to Kjellberg, since he will be able to continue to earn ad revenue on other videos, just not through Google Preferred. The video was pulled from YouTube this past weekend.

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The Maker Studios multi-channel network partnered with "more than 60,000 independent creators around the globe" and produced videos for thousands of Youtube channels. His main channel now has 53 million subscribers and the Journal cites research suggesting he made $9.2 million in ad revenue off of content in 2016, beating out celebrities on the platform including Justin Bieber and Rihanna.

"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", a Maker Studios spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal, noting that Kjellberg had free reign in terms of content as part of the deal.

Felix Kjellberg is better known as PewDiePie - a profane, prolific video producer and comedian.

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"There is a fine line between what is and what is not considered to be hate speech", it added.

"I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary ... that is why [subscribers] come to my channel", he said.

In response to the controversy, the 27-year-old Swedish vlogger said Sunday in his blog that he was "in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes". Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.

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(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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