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"You are afraid": PewDiePie fights with the media and neo-Nazis

Youtuber Felix Kjellberg aka PewDiePie has launched a counterattack after a critical report in the Wall Street Journal newspaper about his anti-Semitic satirical videos.

"They take that out of context and portray me as a Nazi," says Kjellberg in a video. "I apologize for the wording as I know I've hurt people with it, and I admit the joke went too far. I like to push boundaries, but I see myself as a comedian."

Clash of cultures

Kjellberg had paid two gentlemen to hold up a sign reading "Death to all Jews" in a video message for the criticized video via the online portal Fiverr. The Youtuber wanted to show the impossibilities of the Internet, he says. In other contributions he parodied Hitler and also played the National Socialist Party's anthem. Google then threw PewDiePie out of YouTube's most profitable advertising channel, and network partner Disney dissolved its collaboration with the 27-year-old Swede.

Kjellberg does not blame his jokes, but the contribution of the "Wall Street Journal". This had deliberately taken his statements out of context in order to put him in a bad light.

"Try again, motherfuckers!"

"Classic media don't like internet personalities because they are afraid of them. We have so much influence and such a strong voice, and I don't think they understand that," says Kjellberg, who has more than 50 million YouTube subscribers. The story "was a media attack on me to discredit me and reduce my influence. But I'm still here, still making videos. Nice try, Wall Street Journal. Try again, motherfuckers!"

In his statement, Kjellberg expresses his disappointment with the way some media deal with well-known personalities. For example, it is often reported about how much money the Swede earns with his videos, but not that he has raised "millions for charitable purposes" at the same time. He considers himself very lucky, but never made his financial success an issue himself.

Gay jokes

As the magazine "Wired" notes, the recent controversy about the entertainer could be more complex than he portrays it in his articles. Over the past few years, PewDiePie has always flirted with extremes, used terms like "gay," "retard" and "autistic" as insults in his videos and often built rape jokes into his very cheerful, almost comedic videos about his predominantly young one Entertain audience.

For this, there has also been criticism from the community again and again, but Kjellberg himself and his many fans had justified these remarks as exaggerated expressions in a satirical environment.

Trolls and neo-Nazis

According to critics, the problem with this is the general trivialization, which PewDiePie and internet trolls like to excuse with the term "lol jk" (laughing out loud just kidding). However, it is more dramatic how the entertainer plays into the hands of extreme movements.

When Kjellberg dyed his hair blonde and began to incorporate Hitler jokes into his videos, it wasn't long before neo-Nazi currents celebrated him as a hero, reports "Wired". American alt-right groups actually see their attitude and their manners and way of speaking confirmed by what the Swede himself regards as satire. And the latest challenge to the classic media also resonates - whether intentionally or not - with the populism of US President Donald Trump.

Inconvenient free riders

Even if Kjellberg claims the opposite in his answer to the "Wall Street Journal": Disney's and Google's distancing from the Youtube superstar could ultimately not only have something to do with the biting satire that was criticized by a newspaper report, but also with the uncomfortable free riders - not only for image-conscious corporations - who have discovered PewDiePie as a vehicle for their messages.

He said several times these days that this is not the image that the entertainer wants to have of himself in public. "In no way do I endorse any hateful attitudes." (between February 17, 2017)