Disney severs ties with YouTube star over anti-Semitic videos
PewDiePie, aka Felix Kjelberg.
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The Walt Disney Company severed ties with the world's biggest YouTube star Tuesday following a series of anti-Semitic videos.
PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, has 53 million fans worldwide, and his videos have amassed some 14.7 billion views. The 27-year-old Swede usually focuses on video games, and his huge fan base has allowed him to turn his YouTube channel into a lucrative business, earning more than $14 million a year from advertising, sponsorships and appearance fees.
According to reports, a key part of Kjellberg's empire is a joint venture with Disney's Maker Studios, which he inked in 2014. This gave him co-ownership of a multichannel network called Revelmode that produces videos, mobile apps and merchandise.
But Kjellberg recently shocked fans when he released a series of videos containing anti-Semitic jokes and Nazi imagery. Kjellberg posted nine offensive videos during the past six months. A video posted Jan. 11 featured two men holding a banner reading, "Death to all Jews," and a video posted Jan. 22 featured a man dressed as Jesus saying, "Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong."
"Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate," a spokesperson for Maker Studios told the Wall Street Journal.