March 25, 2019
During the March 15 attack on the Christianchurch mosques the shooter was reported saying “Subscribe to PewDiePie”. PewDiePie (whose real name is Felix Kjellberg) has recently released a statement in response to his association with the New Zealand shooting. “I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person. My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families, and everyone affected by this tragedy.” Kjellberg posted on his Twitter. Kjellbergs involvement in the shooting is outlined in this New York Times article
Although his fans have accepted the statement as sincere, this is not the first time the YouTube star has been in the spotlight for a large controversy. Over the years Kjellberg has been accused to his ties to white supremacy, Nazis, and anti-Semitism. Although no one is blaming him for the attack, many are criticizing him for doing nothing to isolate these hateful ideas from his community of followers as explained in this Daily Dot article.
On the other side of things, members of the YouTube community are reckoning with the event. Many of Kjellberg’s fellow video creators are in shock that an event of this magnitude would have any connection to their world. While friends of Kjellberg have rallied to offer their support, the consensus in the YouTube community is that the joke has gone too far as highlighted by this Verge article