The controversy broke out after Kjellberg’s latest edition of “Pew News”, where PewDiePie describes the video platform’s latest events and cultural discussions in a satirical way and recommends some channels that he enjoys watching.
During his battle for the top place in subscriptions with the Indian corporate channel T-Series, Kjellberg gained more than ten million new subscribers. In a video named “DON’T Subscribe to Pewdiepie”, Kjellberg decided that it would be a good idea to give a shout-out to smaller YouTube creators he had recently liked. One of the videos recommended by PewDiePie was the video essay from a YouTuber named E;R (otherwise known as “EsemicolonR”)
“You also have E;R, who does great video essays,” Kjellberg says in the video. “He did one on Death Note, which I really, really enjoyed.”
The recommendation, however, sparked controversy in the media. Soon after the video was published, the Daily Beast reacted with a short article, saying that Pewdiepie promoted a channel with racist and anti-Semitic content. The Daily Beast stressed that E;R’s channel received 15,000 additional subscribers and more than 70,000 new video views thanks to Pewdiepie and claimed that the channel had repeatedly posted anti-Semitic jokes.
The Verge also claimed that Kjellberg gave support to a creator whose videos are “disturbing”. The outlet criticized E;R for a joke that includes a parallel between the Charlottesville rally and the Netflix live-action Death Note adaptation. It had also referred to the several videos where E;R had presumably made anti-Semitic comments. E;R wrote a 2016 video criticizing the Steven Universe cartoon, which, the Verge claims, included “sexist and ableist jokes” and a four-minute unedited speech from Adolf Hitler. The video is now blocked on YouTube for violating nudity and sexual content policies. According to E;R, the discussed video went through the checking in June 2018 and the video service found no violations of the YouTube Guidelines.
The case of @EsemicolonR *proves* media pressure is involved in YouTube censorship.— St. Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) 10 декабря 2018 г.
Regarding: "Steven Rapeyverse, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Fuse"
IT WAS **APPROVED** BY YOUTUBE IN JUNE 2018
It's only NOW after media pressure, that YouTube issued a strike. pic.twitter.com/mKoCojpI5B
It is not the first time Felix Kjellberg is crossing that bridge: Pewdiepie was also previously criticized for a joke hiring two men through an online service holding up a sign reading “Death to All Jews” back in 2017. However, since then the top YouTuber has made significant contributions to battling racism.
In the midst of the war with T-Series, Kjellberg raised more than $200,000 in just two days for the Indian charity Child Rights and You (CRY) this December. The fundraising came as another attempt by the blogger to make good use of the attention given to him, noting that “really distasteful, unnecessary comments” to Indians is not what he or his fan base is about.
“I’m getting more attention now than I’ll probably ever get,” Kjellberg said is in his video. “So why not just take that fact and redirect it to something more positive, and show that this fanbase […] can do something positive as well, because I know we can. No more ‘f**k India.’ Instead, let’s help India.”