Popular gaming YouTuber PewDiePie has responded to the claims and accusations which form the basis of a recently started petition which aims to remove him from the YouTube platform.
In response to a recent petition started on Change.org by a user named Maria Ruiz titled Remove White Supremacist Content From YouTube, Felix Kjellberg, aka PewDiepie, posted a video in which he individually addresses the points and accusations listed by Ruiz as just cause for his removal from the platform:
PewDiePie opens his video by reading the headline of the petition, agreeing with its face-value premise and noting that some claims lacked sources whilst others were blatant falsehoods:
“Yeah, I agree, I think that’s good. I think it looks bad on everyone if there is white supremacist content on the platform and it could possibly just lead to another Adpocalypse so, I will actually have to sign this petition but…oh. It’s literally just calling to ban me from YouTube.
Just by glancing over the points that they made against me, it’s so blatantly misrepresenting and misinforming people. A lot of these points are just flat out lies as well. Context? Who needs that. Unimportant. I don’t care. Why would I need to link sources to any of the claims that defames a person?”
He then proceeds to provide context and further clarifying information to each individual claim in hopes of combatting the misrepresentation of his character:
- used the N slur twice in two separate videos and has hired people to say the N slur
PewDiePie: “What? When have I hired people? That implies I hired multiple people to say the N word. What are you talking about? I can’t even defend myself, I don’t know what they’re talking about. Why would I do that? I used the N word twice. I did it in the livestream, okay, it slipped out, it was incredibly irresponsible, foolish, and stupid of me to do that. People know about this, I’ve acknowledged this wrongdoing and I’ve moved away from it. I think it’s been almost 2 years now.”
- he has promoted videos that contain Adolf Hitler speeches and anti-Semitic cartoons
PewDiePie: “The Wall Street Journal article about me had Hitler’s speech in it. Is that what they’re referencing? Disney has a famous anti-semitic cartoon, or at least that contains Adolf Hitler type propaganda. Is that what they’re referencing? Wall Street Journal and Disney? Does context matter? Uh, clearly it doesn’t.”
- he paid Indian men on website Fiverr to hold up signs that say death to all jews
PewDiePie: “Did you know about this? Has anyone heard about this? Did you know PewdDiePie did this? Has anyone ever told you this? Has every single news media article in the past three years that mentions my name not mention this enough already? I don’t think so! Another thing that’s never mentioned is that I wrote ‘Subscribe to Keemstar’ as well. It was so obviously me trying to come up with the most horrific sentence I could think of. Like the worst thing I could get to pay people to do on this website, this Fiverr, because people were literally doing anything and it was proving a point of that. And I was shocked by the results as well. It wasn’t like “Yeah! Awesome! We did it!” It was shocking, and I thought just that in itself was interesting. But clearly I stepped too far. I’ve definitely paid the consequences and I’ve learned from that mistake, but I guess we’re just going to keep hearing it for the past [sic] 60 years.”
- he performed the nazi heil in one of his videos
PewDiePie: “Where? Show it. Please show it. Because I don’t think I’ve done it. I’ve hold [sp] up my arm as a way to prove a point that people wanted me to be a Nazi so badly that they’ll use anything against me, and you just proved that point yourself, thank you very much.”
- he used images of famous African-Americans (Neil deGrasse Tyson, Barack Obama) captioned with the wrong names
PewDiePie: “Oh my God! How could he do this? Confirmed White Supremacist everyone. We do this with everyone, white or black, no one cares. It’s just…so stupid. What does it mean? It means nothing.”
- he made a clip of a man dressed as Jesus holding a sign stating “hitler did absolutely nothing wrong”
PewDiePie: “I did not do this. This is false information that has just been constantly told by people and no one checks up on it. I never paid him to hold up that sign, that was someone else. There’s no source, I can’t even like, dispute it, but I remember that showing up a few days later and I’m like “I didn’t do that’. Look, this is what I told him:
“Hi this is jesus.
I just wanna say subscribe to my favorite channel on YouTube Jacksepticeye2.
I love Jacksepticeye 2. “
That’s what I told him to write. This is just false. I never did this.”
- he makes rape jokes
PewDiePie: Yes, 6 years ago. You’re implying that I do it now. And the joke was that this monster was going to rape me in this horror game. Like yeah, extremely childish, stupid humor. I don’t do that now. Why bring it up as if it’s a constant thing on my channel?
- in his face-swapping video he repeatedly uses an image of actress Leslie Jones to represent Harambe, the gorilla killed in the Cincinnati zoo last year.
PewDiePie: The face-swapping video was an AI that face swapped different things. The Ai did this. I had no control in it. Next time, I’ll be sure to control the AI. I’ll do my best.
In the petition, Ruiz also speaks out against PewDiePie’s comments sections, stating that even if PewDiePie were to ‘clean up his act’, his comments section would still exist as a breeding ground of white supremacy, to which PewDiePie points out Ruiz’s disingenuity:
- Up until 2017, YouTube considered his content “brand safe”. In 2017 they took minor action to appease angered customers. It is not enough. Even if PewDiePie cleaned up his act his comment sections are still a cesspool of white supremacist activities and commentaries.
PewDiePie: “That’s a pretty bold statement. I really enjoy this part. Because it’s like, you’ve argued this point that I’m a white supremacist and need to be stopped, or at least the normalization of it, that’s the argument here. But all of a sudden, it’s like, ‘oh well even if [he did clean up his act], the comments section [still exists]. That’s right, the comments section is the problem. The comment section on my channel, the cesspool. I mean I agree that it’s a cesspool, but not of white supremacist commentary.
If you have a problem with my comments section, by all means feel free to criticize my comments section. But don’t use the listing of all these things as some sort of shield for your point. Don’t attack me with all these inflammatory claims and lies with no context to then just go ‘Well the comments section is bad!” It’s so weak. It’s so weasely. It’s so tiring.”
As of writing, Ruiz’s petition has 78,883 signatures, though many have signed in order to express their displeasure with the petition on its respective comments page. There have also been numerous counter-petitions which have been started by fans, such as “To close the petition of Maria Ruiz”, “Stop Maria Ruiz from Banning PewDiePie” and “PewDiePie is NOT a White Supremacist”, all of which have garnered more than half of their respective signature goals.