The Wall Street Journal is reporting that popular YouTube personality PewDiePie (Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg) has been dropped by Disney after stirring up controversy with anti-semitic video content. The Journal says that Disney told the publication it was cutting ties with him after reporters reached out to the company to inquire about the YouTuber’s use of Nazi imagery in recent videos.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Disney found the content in the videos to be “inappropriate” and that’s why the company is severing ties with him. The report cites several incidents and includes footage of the anti-semitic content, including a video from January 11 where Kjellberg watches two men hold a sign up that says “Death To All Jews.” He later created a video defending himself, claiming that media was mischaracterizing him.
The publication notes that YouTube has declined to comment on Kjellberg’s comments. Maker Studios, the video distributor for Kjellberg’s content, was purchased by Disney back in 2014.
You can watch the full report here.[Source: The Wall Street Journal]
Kjellberg is probably the most well-known YouTube personality, so Disney’s swift tie-severing here speaks volumes of how unwilling brands are to be associated with bigoted remarks, whether they’re made in jest or otherwise. EA also recently punished Madden champion Chris McFarland with a fine after a series of tweets the publisher found to be inappropriate.