You may or may not know Felix Kjellberg, but if you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll probably recognize his pseudonym. Kjellberg, popularly known as PewDiePie, remains one of YouTube’s biggest stars with almost 100 million subscribers. And that’s precisely why his latest antics aren’t just in bad taste – they’re altogether reckless.
Consider this. PewDiePie, who reportedly pocketed a cool $15 million in 2018 from YouTube, has faced criticism for making anti-Semitic jokes, and that didn’t do much to deter his popularity. But now he is on a different mission altogether – get people killed.
At least that’s what his latest Meme Review threatens to do.
Facebook has gone absolutely insane, with everyone from your conspiracy theorist uncle to your favorite movie star signing on to storm Area 51 on Sept. 20 to “see them aliens.”
The event has gone viral and gained tremendous momentum. Over 1.3 million users say they will attend the event, and another 1 million report that they’re “interested.”
And there’s been a noticeable spike in interest since Kjellberg dropped his latest Meme Review.
When PewDiePie posted his video on YouTube, there were 841,000 people who were “going” to the event, with another 740,000 marking themselves as interested. In just one day since his video came out, almost 500,000 more people have registered.
Sure, the whole thing might be a joke, but it’s yielding PewDiePie some serious cash. His video riffing on Area 51 has already been viewed more than 7 million times.
But there’s at least one organization taking the event completely seriously: the US Air Force, which appeared to threaten an armed response to trespassers in comments shared with multiple media outlets.
“[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces. … The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”
Of course, no one – including PewDiePie – actually expects 1.3 million people to make the trek to the Nevada desert in late-September.
However, what if a few dumb teenagers show up anyway? What if they do so hoping they’ll get a shout-out from PewDiePie himself?
Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. But if it does, celebrities like PewDiePie who encouraged them to raid Area 51 – even as a joke – should shoulder the blame.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.
Last modified: January 10, 2020 3:31 PM UTC