YouTube cuts business ties with PewDiePie amid anti-Semitic controversy

Who is PewDiePie? The world’s biggest YouTuberIBTimes UK

YouTube has severed its business ties with Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg amid controversy regarding anti-Semitic language and Nazi references in videos created by the star and sent out to his 53 million subscribers.

PewDiePie, who runs the world's most subscribed-to YouTube channel, had been working with the site on content for its YouTube Red premium service. A second series of Scare PewDiePie was in the pipeline, but a spokesperson for YouTube confirmed to The Verge it has now been cancelled.

YouTube has since issued a statement to IBTimes UK confirming its decision.

Advertisement

This follows news earlier today (14 February) that Disney has also decided to end its working relationship with the star.

The 27-year-old Swede has also been removed from the Google Preferred advertising programme, reserved for YouTube's biggest channels, meaning the videos he continues to make on his channel will no longer be promoted on the site.

This will impact PewDiePie's substantial earnings, which were boosted by being included in the programme. He will however be able to continue monetising his videos through YouTube's standard advertising model.

PewDiePie currently has more than 53 million subscribers, and last year earned about $15m (£12m), according to Forbes.

Earlier this year, controversy surrounded a video in which PewDiePie had paid two men to hold up a sign which read "Death to all Jews". In a report from the Wall Street Journal about Disney's decision to ditch him, they also unearthed numerous anti-Semitic and Nazi references in his videos dating back to 7 August 2016.

In one video he played the Nazi Party anthem, did a Hitler salute and showed swastikas.

The videos violate YouTube's community guidelines, which include a section on hate speech, and so were demonetised by the site.

Advertisement

PewDiePie and Maker Studios had been working together since 2012, but last year announced a joint venture called Revelmode, which was set to produce videos, mobile apps and merchandise. The Walt Disney Company purchased Maker Studios in 2014 for $675m.

© Copyright 2017 IBTimes Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.