Disney drops YouTube star PewDiePie over ‘anti-Semitic videos’

The Swedish vlogger, real name Felix Kjellberg, has more than 53 million YouTube subscribers.

Disney has dropped PewDiePie, the world’s highest-earning YouTube star, after he shared a succession of allegedly anti-Semitic videos.

PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, has more than 53 million YouTube subscribers. His videos have been watched over 14 billion times, making him YouTube’s most-watched star.

In recent months, the 27-year-old from Gothenburg in Sweden has attracted criticism by posting a series of videos whose content purports to be humorous, but actually comes off as anti-Semitic.

One featured a man dressed as Jesus saying, “Hitler did nothing wrong.” Another showed two men who had been paid to hold up a sign which read: “Death to all Jews.”

Since 2014, PewDiePie has had a business agreement with Disney’s Maker Studios, but this has now been terminated.

A spokesperson for Maker Studies told the Wall Street Journal: “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. Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward.”

In a blog post shared on Sunday (February 12), Kjellberg wrote that in his videos he “was trying to show how crazy the modern world is”. He admitted, however, that “these jokes were ultimately offensive”, and insisted: “To anyone unsure on my standpoint regarding hate-based groups: No, I don’t support these people in any way.”