After being subject to a highly libelous, misleading article on the Wall Street Journal, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, known as “PewDiePie” on YouTube has had his career and finances seriously damaged.
The self-described amateur Swedish comedian with over 50 million YouTube followers has had a major show cancelled (with hundreds of people financially affected), and his ad-revenue backing by Disney and YouTube Red dropped.
Fabricating a narrative.
The WSJ article made some bold and unsubstantiated claims that Felix is an anti-Semite who disseminates Nazi propaganda to his viewers. The three journalists behind the hit-piece took snippets from a handful of Felix’s satirical/comedy videos (the YouTuber has made thousands of videos over the years) and presented them as evidence to this effect without any context.
To better illustrate the absurdity of the claims; a video where Felix is merely pointing off into a direction was screen capped and used as evidence to indicate a Nazi salute. In another instance, Felix is making fun of the micro-job site Fivvr, and in order to illustrate that some people will do anything for $5, he paid a Jesus impersonator and some Indians to say and do some potentially highly offensive things. The WSJ interpreted this as a literal indicator of Felix’s personal views.
In another video Felix sought to make fun of the media’s prior depictions of him being an anti-semite, where he donned a military uniform and during a short segment sat at a screen watching one of Hitler’s speeches. The self-satire was obvious for anybody who watched the video. But for the WSJ, it was a revelation, a literal Hitler moment. They went on to further incriminate him by attributing the praise of unrelated white-supremacist groups on the internet as something Felix had control and thus responsibility over.
A Malicious Act.
The journalists then proceeded to contact Disney and YouTube, sent them the ‘evidence’ and this resulted in Mr Kjellberg being dropped from Maker Network (A Disney subsidiary). He also had his YouTube Red privileges revoked (a major source of advertising revenue for YouTube content creators).
As a direct consequence the YouTube and broader online community has been incensed by the libelous actions of a supposedly well respected major media organization. Many have expressed their vocal support to Felix during this absurd witch-hunt and quest for ad clicks by the failing legacy media.
Felix himself has since produced a response clarifying his position, and the events taking place.