Actor Wil Wheaton, who famously voices Jonathan Rook in Netflix’s Stretch Armstrong & The Flex Fighters along with being a part of the Big Bang Theory cast, has called out popular YouTuber PewDiePie, who uses this alias instead of his real name Felix Kjellberg in his on-going lengthy battle for subscriber count supremacy against the Bollywood music and video label T-Series.
In a now deleted Facebook post, Wheaton branded Pewds a “racist, piece of s**t bigot", as reported by Bounding Into Comics blog. In a similar move, Wheaton also attacked Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild for promoting and “providing a platform for this racist, piece of s**t bigot", starting off his attack with a strong-worded “f**k you". He notably targeted the social media titan after it suggested he should join a PewDiePie Facebook group.
“I am heartened to discover that you know so little about me", Wheaton started his post, further stating that Facebook’s algorithms seem to think, mistakenly, that he “wants to follow” the Swedish vlogger.
YouTuber Poison Pixie, who claims to be a huge Wil Wheaton fan, notably captured a number of Wheaton’s comments in response to fans criticising his attacks on PewDiePie. In a parallel move, Wheaton himself also posted a follow-up on Facebook explaining why he had deleted his post. He put it in the following way:
“I wanted to lock comments on the post I made yesterday about PewDiePie, because it’s filling up with truly vile, racist, homophobic, misogynist, bigoted memes and comments from people who have flooded my page…", he said before going on:
“I guess make the point that this guy isn’t a racist bigot? It seems kind of weird to throw a bunch of alt-right memes at me as an argument that this guy doesn’t support their alt-right hatred. It’s almost like they are making my point for me. Parents whose kids are really into this guy: are these the people you want your children around?” Wheaton wrote specifying that he finally made up his mind to delete the post as he doesn’t have enough time to take down “all the vile, racist, hateful garbage that all these kids have time to post".
“Please choose kindness", the Big Bang Theory star rounded off his escapade.
However, the pendulum had already started swinging by that time, with Facebook users amassing on Wheaton’s page, lashing out at him for calling Pewds’ roughly 100 million fans racists with no research having been done on the subject:
“When you throw shit, don’t be naive and be surprised when shit gets thrown back at you. Smh I’d expect better than waving false flags to get internet points for a man of your age", one user stated, with another one weighing in, likewise in Pewds’ defence:
“Being a bigot is wrong. But I'm pretty sure PewDiePie isn't one".
Others called not to leap to conclusions, noting that “not everyone agrees on what exactly constitutes racism or bigotry", complaining about people make impulsive judgements, “calling others who they don't agree with or perceive as racist garbage people or shit without taking a deeper look".
“What is it with stupid people and not understanding how free speech works?” another Facebook user remarked, in a bid to draw attention to Pewds merely exercising his legal right to express himself.
Another one took aim at “left wing ding bats", arguing that when they say "he's racist, he does racist stuff" they essentially need to post an example of “what you're talking about so the sensible among us can either agree that yes that is in fact racist, or the more likely scenario, inform you that it is in fact not racist and it's you that's being the hateful piece of shit".
“Y'all need to research what a Nazi is before throwing the word around so lightly", a different user stated, whereas another suggested Wheaton is mad over Pewds being more relevant than him:
“Wil couldn’t tell the difference between an actual Nazi and an every day conservative to save his life because everyone is a Nazi to this plonker", the user pointed out, summing up at the end of his utterance that left-wingers today are “the new fascists and they don't even realise it".
One even recalled, in an attempt to debunk what he sees as a myth about PewDiePie, that the Swedish vlogger had donated millions to charity, including over $250k to an Indian NGO against child labour.
“…for f**ks sake he even refused to upload a video in the wake of the NZ shooting when he could’ve easily made a big buck by taking advantage of the situation", the user noted adding that whatever attitude to him, “calling him a racist means you’re really out of touch".
Yet, there were those who shared Wheaton’s views, with one hitting back saying that occasional “bouts of decency don’t excuse blatantly racist comments, or blatantly sexist comments".
“It doesn't matter what he's done or how much he's given to charity. He's made JOKES!! We can't have that! We have to clutch our pearls and demonize people we don't like as racist", another netizens butted in.
Wheaton and his supporters are not alone in attacking PewDiePie: Maria Ruiz has created a petition on change. org calling to ban Pewds over his “normalising white supremacy", with the campaign gaining significant traction after over 50,000 people signed the paper. However, in a counter-move, a new petition has been launched – one calling to remove Maria Ruiz’s “vindictive and deceitful” call from the website.
In the meantime, PewDiePie has again overtaken T-Series in their neck-in-neck race for the YouTube crown, with the Swedish individual creator currently boasting 92,578,141 subscribers versus T-Series’ 92,442,664. The Swede’s fans appear to have bright expectations for the future, hoping that an individual creator, rather than a profit-seeking entity will continue to be the face of the landmark video hosting platform – a status he has enjoyed since 2013. T-Series saw an incredible surge in its subscriber base only last year in light of India’s increasing online presence.