February 14, 2017 at 7:50 pm #172310
The Alleged rant contained anti-semitic content.February 15, 2017 at 3:45 pm #172316February 15, 2017 at 10:50 pm #172324
Apparently now Layoffs are being announced at Maker Studios.February 16, 2017 at 10:58 am #172329
And now PewDiePie Responds to the fall out of this alleged scandal.February 16, 2017 at 3:29 pm #172335
The Fallout continues.
Because of the anti-Semitic videos, YouTube Red cancelled the second season of his Scare PewDiePie series, a YouTube spokesperson confirmed. Forbes estimates Kjellberg collected a seven-figure salary as both the star and executive producer of the series.
The clips also prompted Disney, which owns digital production and management outfit Maker Studios, to sever ties with Kjellberg, halting lucrative projects in the pipeline.
“There were opportunities in the cards that aren’t there any longer,” the industry insider said. Maker Studios worked with Kjellberg to produce and finance his longform and premium content and games (the details of the contract are not public). It also may have helped him secure sponsorship deals and produce merchandise, which brought in six figures for the digital star.
The backlash will impact more traditional media, too. Kjellberg’s book, This Book Loves You, sold over 130,000 copies in the U.S. between its September 2015 release and June 2016, according to Nielsen BookScan. The scandal makes it less likely that Penguin will partner with him on future projects. Razorbill, the Penguin imprint that published the book, has not replied to a request for comment.
Of course, Kjellberg’s reaction to the controversy will affect his ability to move forward.
Thursday—over three days after the anti-Semitic videos came to light—Kjellberg posted a video addressing the matter. While the overwhelming majority of the video features Kjellberg complaining about the media—which he says targets him—and its obsession with his substantial earnings, he eventually apologized over four minutes in.
“I’m sorry for the words that I used, as I know they offended people. I admit that the joke went too far,” he says, adding that he hopes to learn from the incident growing forward.
But the apology comes off as defensive and insincere.
“A lot of people loved the video, a lot of people didn’t,” he says about the video with the “Death To All Jews” sign, adding that humor can be made about anything. “The reaction outrage [over my clips] has been nothing but insanity.”
Previously, Kjellberg had addressed the videos in a Tumblr post and a since-taken-down video. In both instances, he defends his behavior as a joke and says it was not meant to be taken seriously. In the Tumblr post he alludes to the fact that neo-Nazi groups, like the website Daily Stormer, have embraced the videos.
“This is clearly hate speech, which YouTube itself defines as ‘content that promotes hatred against members of a protected group,’ and PewdiePie’s effort to defend it as an attempt to be funny falls flat,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, told FORBES.
“I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes,” Kjellberg wrote. “I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary.”
Both apologizing and accepting responsibility for his wrongdoing are critical if he wants to move forward, experts say. “He has to make amends through action,” says Schiffer. That can be money, education about racism, [or] providing access to those who have been victims to learn about his craft.”
The ball is in Kjellberg’s court and camera.
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