In a recent storm of controversy, famous YouTube personality PewDiePie, aka Felix Kjellberg came under fire again due to a ‘shout out’ he had given to another YouTuber in an uploaded video. In the video, titled “DON’T Subscribe to Pewdiepie” (in reference to Kjellberg’s lighthearted and entertaining subscriber-based feud with an India-based media production company), Kjellberg urges his followers to follow more ‘lesser known’ channels and creators, and proceeds to recommend certain channels based on individual videos he himself had personally enjoyed. One of these recommendations was for a channel named E;R, run by a user of the same name, and many soon took issue with the content on said channel (including numerous Nazi jokes and a clip of the death of Heather Myers in Charlottesville, used to make it seem as if she was killed by the fictional ‘Death Note’ item).
In the face of the public backlash, Kjellberg explained that he did not recommend E;R based on any ideological or political positions, but because of a video reviewing the Death Note film produced for Netflix. He also removed E;R’s shout out in the video and it’s description and reiterated that due to his experiences with past controversies, he has effectively distanced himself from making Nazi jokes. The YouTuber in question, E;R, also took to their Twitter account to criticize sensationalist media reporting on the topic, particularly the guilt-by-association attempts to paint Kjellberg as a Nazi (yet again) due to the simple fact that he liked a video produced by someone whose videos and humor are not particularly ‘politically correct’.
Prior to Kjellberg’s apology and removal of the offending shout out, many began to espouse unsubstantiated claims that Kjellberg was a Nazi or a white supremacist, while others shouted that this promotion of ‘offensive content’ was indicative of his true, sinister nature. Among the cries of outrage was a Collaboration Coordinator and producer on their title The Division for Ubisoft Studios, Dianna Lora:
Enough is enough. Gaming Industry: I’m going to need you to end this dude. You know EXACTLY who you are. Cut ties with him… NOW.
Lora’s call for a blacklist against Kjellberg appears to be based on a completely subjective interpretation of Kjellberg’s person and body of work, opting to allow her opinion of Kjellberg to be based on disingenuous hit-pieces and sensationalist, tabloid-tier reporting. This call-to-arms by Lora is evident of a growing trend wherein more public figures, such as artists, content creators, and even streamers, are threatened with or suffer from ‘unpersoning’ for the simple act of disagreeing with someone’s opinions or personal feelings. This can be seen in recent events with the replacement of Rachel Butera in Star Wars: Resistance, Kevin Hart’s short-lived stint as host of the Oscars, and the false DMCA campaign lobbied at Richard C Meyer for discussing the work of others.
Even after an apology was issued and the video was edited, Lora would double down on her strawman portrayal of Kjellberg:
Its important to call out consistent shitty behavior from folks who consistently act shitty Excusing his actions desensitizes people to ignorance & hate. Saying hes a comedian is being ignorant to what comedians do. Saying hes being satiric is being ignorant of what satire is.
Ubisoft, the company whom currently employs Lora, has become more dedicated in recent years to fostering ideology-based decisions, regardless of context or reasoning. Earlier this year, a set of leaked documents revealed that Ubisoft’s corporate culture was shifting to focus strongly on identity politics, and in July the company employed an automatic ban filter in an attempt to end toxicity within Rainbow Six Siege multiplayer modes. In 2015, Ubisoft changed Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate’s opening disclaimer to include mentions of sexual orientations and gender identities due to the statement being deemed “exclusive of some people”.