PewDiePie’s long-awaited response to the fallout from his decision to pull a $50,000 donation from the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) is here. In a typically honest display, the YouTube king demonstrates why he is so popular with a personal and touching outlook on fame that shows everything his followers love about him.
There are several aspects of this video to unpack, but the first is that Pewds (real name is Felix Kjellberg) admits that he does not have a PR team. While this might not seem particularly surprising, for a person of such considerable wealth and fame to not employ a public relations department is incredibly rare. When you consider that Kjellberg is one of the largest fish in the home of faux-outrage (the internet), it is even more surprising. Add to this that after all his previous scandals, he still did not employ any PR professionals and his commitment to keeping it real is mind-blowing. It is this ability to resonate with people that is where his often debated 100 million subscriber magic comes.
In a world of heavily medicated celebrity personas, the world’s largest YouTuber is a breath of fresh air to his affectionately and inaccurately named “9-year old army.” If PewDiePie were to lose his connection with his fans, he would simply be one of many (gaming?) channels on YouTube.
Accusations of fascism have dogged the entertainer since an infamous Wall Street Journal piece about Nazi propaganda appearing in his videos. The negative press was compounded by an extremely ill-advised prank on Fiverr. As the recent ADL fallout surfaced so did criticism of PewDiePie’s sweater featuring the Georgian Bolnisi Cross, which some mistook for the Nazi appropriated Iron Cross.
Addressing this controversy in his recent video, Kjellberg made the following statement on how misinformation and outrage go hand in hand,
“People just read the headlines or take it the way they want to. When [they] understand the full context of what happened, it’s always switched back again to oh, well, he should be more responsible… I don’t have a PR team, and even if I did I probably get things wrong… I’m in a very unique position there’s no one ahead of me. I don’t know what I’m doing , but what I do realize is that I’m not apologizing to these lunatics anymore”
It is clear that PewDiePie would like this to be his last controversy, and unfortunate that his attempts to close the book on the past failed so spectacularly. Having recently got married and reinvented his content with a focus on popular game “Minecraft”, it’s clear Felix intends to take the channel back to its roots. In a fitting end to the whole “Nazi” saga Kjellberg provided a perfect soundbite for the way that the mainstream media seeks to aggrandize contrasting viewpoints, he concluded,
“I’m always at the end between these people. Either the smartest person ever or the dumbest person ever. I’m a saint, or I’m the devil, I’m neither of these things I’m just a normal guy.
One hundred one million subscribers and counting, it’s time for PewDiePie to head back home. Sven misses you.
Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:03 PM