Gaming Company Says It’ll Block YouTube’s Biggest Star Over Racial Slur
Six months after Disney cut ties with him over anti-Semitic comments, a millionaire Swedish video blogger faces further erosions to his income after making a racist slur while live streaming a video game session.
PewDiePie — real name is Felix Kjellberg — is a 27-year-old Swede. Once the world’s highest-paid YouTube star, he has 57 million subscribers on his YouTube channel.
Kjellberg used an offensive racist term while playing a video game, then added, “I don’t mean that in a bad way.” Footage was posted Sunday to Reddit.
Kjellberg, who became YouTube’s highest-grossing star, called his online opponent a “f—— n—–” while playing a shoot-’em-up game called PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Sky News reported.
“What a f—— n—–,” he said while shooting a character.
“Sorry, but what the f—?,” he added.
“I didn’t mean that in a bad way.”
Kjellberg gives video games a bad name, according to gaming developer Sean Vanaman.
Vanaman is an Irish–American video game designer, writer and podcaster. He was the co-project leader and lead writer of “The Walking Dead,” and a co-founder of San Francisco-based video game maker Campo Santo.
“He’s worse than a closeted racist: he’s a propagator of despicable garbage that does real damage to the culture around this industry,” Vanaman tweeted.
Vanaman is urging developers to “cut him off from the content that has made him a millionaire.”
Kjellberg’s latest controversial video, which has since been taken down, has been watched 6 million-plus times, Sky News reported.
“We’re filing a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown of PewDiePie’s Firewatch content and any future Campo Santo games,” Vanaman Tweeted. “I am sick of this child getting more and more chances to make money off of what we make.”
I am sick of this child getting more and more chances to make money off of what we make.
— Sean Vanaman (@vanaman) September 10, 2017
Earlier in 2017, YouTube and Disney both said they were no longer sponsoring Kjellberg’s channel after some of his videos used Nazi imagery and anti-Semitic jokes.
One video featured two men holding a banner which read “Death to all Jews.” Another had a man dressed as Jesus saying “Hitler did nothing wrong.”
Kjellberg was briefly suspended from Twitter for making jokes about joining Islamic State, Sky News reported.
He usually leaves his livestreams up as archived sessions after they’re over, Business Insider reported. This one is not available. It was being viewed by more than 30,000 people at the time he used the racial slur.
Vanaman said his company’s games won’t be allowed for use in future PewDiePie videos.
“We’re complicit,” Vanaman wrote. “I’m sure we’ve made money off of the 5.7M views that video has and that’s something for us to think about.”
Sign up for the Moguldom newsletter — the most compelling business news you need to know about reversing inequality in tech, delivered straight to your inbox.