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Disney, YouTube Cut Ties With PewDiePie, Top YouTube Submitter, Over Anti-Semitic Videos (techcrunch.com) 363

jo7hs2 writes: Disney's Maker Studios has cut ties PewDiePie, the YouTube submitter with 53 million subscribers, over anti-Semitic clips the submitter released earlier in the year. The clips, three videos published in January, have since been removed from the channel. According to TechCrunch, "They included one skit in which [Felix Kjellberg, PewDiePie's real name] paid a Sri Lanka-based group of men to hold up a sign that read 'Death to All Jews,' while another featured a clip of a man dressed as Jesus saying that 'Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong.' Kjellberg used freelance job finding site Fiverr for both clips. He argued that he wasn't serious with either and instead wanted to show the things people will do for money." A spokesperson for Maker Studios, which was acquired by Disney in 2014, told the Wall Street Journal, "Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate." Writing on his Tumblr blog, Kjellberg said the purpose of the examples was "to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online." He continued, "I picked something that seemed absurd to me -- That people on Fiverr would say anything for 5 dollars. I think it's important to say something and I want to make one thing clear: I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes."

UPDATE 2/14/17: YouTube has also cut ties with Kjellberg. A YouTube representative confirmed to Business Insider that the company has canceled its YouTube Red original show starring Kjellberg. Business Insider reports: "Kjellberg's show, 'Scare PewDiePie,' was a YouTube original accessible through the company's subscription service, YouTube Red. The show was about to premiere its second season. YouTube is also removing Kjellberg from Google's preferred advertising program, which helps the platform's most popular personalities attract bigger advertisers."
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Disney, YouTube Cut Ties With PewDiePie, Top YouTube Submitter, Over Anti-Semitic Videos

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  • Who cares? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @08:22PM (#53869717)

    Slashdot: "Celebrity" gossip. Stuff that doesn't matter.

    • Video here (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Just in case anyone was wondering, you can find the video in question here. I've skipped to the relevant part, but the whole video is him going WTF over just what people will do for a few bucks on Fiverr:

      https://youtu.be/KtxXKezbQ9w?t=660 [youtu.be]

      "I am sorry. I didn't think they would actually do it."

      "I don't feel too proud of this, I'm not going to lie."

      • I never heard of him until a south park episode a few years back (and haven't heard the name since) but even though I'm not a fan of his, I think the reaction is overkill. He could always move to a youtube competitor; if he has THAT many viewers, it would pull a lot of users away from youtube and wouldn't surprise me if they went out of their way to get him back.

      • Re:Video here (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CustomSolvers2 ( 4118921 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2017 @06:33AM (#53872125) Homepage
        Without knowing anything about this guy (other than the South Park reference mentioned above), I know already a lot about his personality just by watching this video excerpt, his intention, his apparent motivation, his reactions, etc.: the kind of rich (or problem-free or egoist) asshole with a distorted perception of the world, overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of information and all what is associated with internet, responsible for a new wave of extremely-ignorant-and-completely-unaware fanaticism. I don't mean just the usual peculiarities associated with the behaviour of these youtubers, but the whole internet-based group-thinking movement: SJWs (bear in mind that I am an over-understanding leftist), Twitter or Facebook or whatever lynch squads and even programming-related fanatic and ignorant group-thinking (I know something about this too).

        Just in case my position is not clear, here comes a summary of what I see in this video:

        1. The guy firstly complains about the people to whom he has paid $5 (!!!) not doing what he wants. My impression is that these people were trying to give more for the paid price, kind of highlighting that all was a joke. If I was in his shoes, just watching these guys doing these stupid things for me because I paid them $5 would have made me feel horrible.

        2. The expected result is delivered exactly as instructed; and this guy behaves firstly as if it was incredible (?! Weren't you complaining 5 seconds before because they didn't do it?!) and then shameful?! They are just words, exactly your words?! Don't you feel ashamed about writing such a sentence and hire some people to show it in a video, but you do feel ashamed of watching it in that video?! Why? Out-of-context words have no meaning, and much less the exact format in which these words are expressed; all what matters is intention. If you have ever had that thought, it would be equally bad than writing it or showing it in a video. There is no difference. There is hypocrisy, ignorance, self-esteem issues and being overhelmed by what you cannot even understand. Only a hypocrite can see any difference between actually doing/thinking/saying something wrong in one format or a different one.

        3. The most incredible part and what perfectly describes the aforementioned new wave of half-persons with lots of power (or, at least, a very large audience): he dares to blame the two guys he hired for $5 (!!) for doing what he asked them to do!!! Even though he was complaining when they delayed that output for some seconds!! Complains about the world being wrong because some people have to work for an asshole for 5 miserable dollars! But he doesn't realise that he is the asshole!! He is the person who has provoked such an output! He had the intention (= all what matters)!

        This guy thinks that paying $5 to people needing that money to do something pathetic makes sense. He thinks that being angry with these people in case of not doing exactly what he wants makes sense. He thinks that blaming these people for doing exactly what he instructed them to do makes sense. He thinks that feeling bad (better: showing that he feels bad) about a specific format (actually showing certain words in a video), but not caring about other (thinking about/writing these exact words somewhere else or hiring someone to write them) makes also sense. If he read the current post (or other descriptive-enough text), he would likely understand what he did wrong, even feel bad about his behaviour and never repeat it again. He would learn (basics about being a person) because he doesn't know it, but he is surprisingly unaware about this fact. He most likely thinks that his understanding capabilities are better than the average ones, thanks to his blind-supporters bubble. Other very curious issue of this kind of people is that they seem to think that what they deliver ($5 or his ideas in the video or anything else) is really valuable! No idea what others think, but the only feeling which they can provoke in me is pity. Is he a bad guy? He will
        • Very much this.
          Spoiled by his success he complains about people who are broke enough to act out his stupid ideas for $5.
          He seems like the emperors brat who's having fun because the paws will dance to the rhythm of his clapping hands.
          There is good potential for enlightening in this situation, though.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jack9 ( 11421 )

      Youtube's highest paid content creator (and conversely highest earning content creator for YouTube) was cut over pressure from a partner corporation (which in turn came from the ironic, , via a pessimistic (mis)interpretation of an entertainment video? It is geek news. The trolls implying that he might possibly be antisemitic are just perpetuating the status quo, in promoting that there are more than seven words you can't say.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        You can't serious spin this as some kind of politically correct overreaction or trolling. Disney is extremely conservative, everyone knows this, PewDiePie knew it when he partnered with them. So expecting a video with guys holding "death to Jews" signs up to be okay with them was dumb at best.

        Once again, it must be pointed out that Youtube does host a huge amount of far right neo-Nazi Jew hating material. That doesn't give anyone the right to be paid to produce it.

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          Disney is extremely conservative, everyone knows this,

          And here I am looking at the Disney channel, and ABC news. You're calling that conservative? Okie dokie there. If the Disney channel got any more progressive with one of their main revenue streams, I'd be wondering if they were pushing pro-pedophilia or pro-hebephilia stances. Guess what though? This entire thing has backfired. Not on PewDiePie, on disney, the media in general. And it just redpilled an entire swath of GenZ to hate the media. Good job, and you're wondering why the left is moving to i

      • I think there's something to the theory that YT would rather have a yes-man on top.
        Pretty good analysis by Sargon:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

        Before the internet (and, ironically, Youtube itself) this kind of smear campaign would have worked without a hitch, and I'm sure it galls the MSM that he has a platform to respond at all.
  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sgage ( 109086 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @08:24PM (#53869731)

    Who. Fucking. Cares? What is a PewDiePie? This is news?

    • I care, because there is a chance YT will stop spamming this retards videos into my recommend feed like they were somehow thematically similar to the clip I currently watch (oscilloscope repair for example).

      • There is a button somewhere on every video that you can click on that says not interested. Do that enough and they will stop showing up. For that matter I click the subscribe button on just about any fool that comments on videos I like regardless of whether they have any intention of making videos and am probably technically subscribed to PewDiePie, but his videos never show up as recommendations for me because I actually manage my blinking YouTube situation.
        • That button? Yeah it doesn't do anything. I have pressed that damned button a billion fricking times trying to keep those retarded YouTube "comedians" off my suggestions but I keep seeing his ass and several of his buds day after day after day. Its the same as I have clicked "not interested" (I would pick "more likely to desire an STD" if I could) on the YouTube Red channel, wanna guess what is there the very next time I go to YouTube? The YouTube Red channel.
          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Strangely I never get either of those things. I have quite a few channel subscriptions and uBlock/Privacy Badger.

          • perhaps youtube needs an "actively dislike" button. it indicates "if you even suggest this video to me again, i will punch someone. probably someone working for youtube."
        • It doesnt work (probably because I told YT to not save my history, which somehow doesnt stop them from building a profile on me and suggesting garbage).

          Pewretarddie, h3whatever, 10funnycompilationssomething, someotherrandombro13, day in day out same fucktards are being pushed into my recommended.

  • Semetic? (Score:2, Informative)

    I'm assuming someone meant "Semitic"? I

    'm having a hard time figuring out whether it was the author, of one of our less literate editors, though...

  • I'd say there's a fair chance Mr. Kjellberg *is* Jewish, which would make his Anti-Semetic about as serious as Sasha Cohen's "Borat" character. Either way, it's not a good match for Disney, so how is this news?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Who said a Jew can't be anti-Semitic?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'd say there's a fair chance Mr. Kjellberg *is* Jewish [...]

      No.

      'Berg' is very common in Swedish surnames. It translates as 'mountain'.

  • by mOzone ( 1447147 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @08:31PM (#53869773)

    pewdiepie shaved his ass and sent the hair off so someone could bake a cake ..and for valentine's day video had humping penis's for 5 mins ...100s of video along same lines ...and disney didn't care ....but the fiver video was the (((last straw))) ...lol hypocrites

    • by by (1706743) ( 1706744 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @08:45PM (#53869871)
      There's a difference between being generically offensive, and being offensive by targeting specific groups.

      You don't have to agree that one is more offensive than the other, but to ignore that the two cases are different isn't particularly productive.

      And on the other end of the spectrum you have stuff like South Park, which basically tries to be offensive by targeting *every* group; in some strange egalitarian sense, this makes it "less offensive," as the motives are clearly for humor, rather than hatred towards a specific group.
      • Well, South Park does get a lot more leeway precisely because it is an equal-opportunity offender. But while Comic Central generally lets Parker and Stone do whatever they want, they have nailed them a few times. Still, I often find that South Park, despite being a bit caustic, is rarely ever outright cruel (okay, Paris Hilton being shoved up Slave's ass might be pretty cruel). But it is a fine line, and there's an art to satire, particularly when it involves risque subjects. I keep thinking back to the Mon

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        There's a difference between being generically offensive, and being offensive by targeting specific groups.

        Sounds like he's been fairly equally offensive to all groups. Fact someone found 1 out of a thousand videos more offensive to X doesn't mean X was targeted.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @08:31PM (#53869775)

    [He] wanted to show the things people will do for money.

    It worked better than he expected. Much better.

    He actually exposed the hypocrisy of the loony-left media-industrial propaganda complex and the things they will do for money.

    The media-industrial complex has been accused to be ignorant as to why it lost belly-up in Nov 2016. The reality is that there is no such ignorance. Instead it chooses to be the bitch of the loony hyperliberal special interest which actively stifles anything not conforming to its slave ideology.

    • by nmb3000 ( 741169 )

      media-industrial complex

      You realize this is a nonsense phrase without meaning, right? And that you sound like a mindless dolt undermining any other points you might be making when you repeatedly parrot it? Okay.

  • by cervesaebraciator ( 2352888 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @08:34PM (#53869801)

    "Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate."

    It's funny how one of these words has a positive connotation, and the other one a negative. This, despite the fact that opposing groups might apply each term to the same content. All inappropriate means in a context where one is praising someone for irreverence is that the irreverence was applied to a preferred group.

    I am reminded of Isaac Hayes's objection to South Park's irreverence toward Scientology.

    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @08:45PM (#53869869) Journal

      Generally, in the post-WWII Western world, making Holocaust jokes or anti-Jewish jokes is seen at the very least in pretty poor taste, and it is indeed the kind of thing that could see people lose sponsorships, jobs, etc. Mel Gibson has been trying to like a bastard to rebuild his career or 10 years after the whole "Jews start all the wars" drunken rant, and while it seems like Hollywood is prepared to give him yet another chance, he'll be dogged by that (and that crazy-ass phone call to his ex-girlfriend, which in some ways I found a whole lot more disturbing) until the day he dies.

      Every society has its taboo subjects, some taboo for idiotic reasons (like say, blasphemy and heresy), and some probably for good reasons. In general attacking Jews or mocking or denying the Holocaust are seen as pretty bad because it is feared, not entirely without justification, that latent anti-Semitism inevitably ends up in some sort of pogrom (that's pretty much been the history of the Jews for at least two thousand years, even longer if you buy pre-Hellenic tales of woe). Now, in places like Germany and Austria, that sort of thing is likely to get you thrown in jail, but in the US, the state has no role in determining whether speech is allowed or not, save within a pretty narrow scope of circumstances. That doesn't, however, bind private actors like citizens or corporations from disassociating themselves from people who make anti-Semitic statements.

      • Certainly. I agree with the thrust of what you say. PewDiePie was blockheaded for doing this. It was in poor taste and, frankly, some things should be taboo.

        My objection is to the corporate speak and the hypocrisy it allows people to rationalize. One shouldn't praise 'irreverence' as something great and courageous, on the one hand, but reject the speech of others as 'inappropriate' once it's applied to one's own sacred cows.

        • No but one can recognize that certain 'irreverence' is designed to gently nudge us to reconsider our beliefs or 'sacred cows' as you call them. Even if we aren't ultimately persuaded, the examination is beneficial. In other cases, such as this one, there is (hopefully) not subtle push towards reexamination. Rather it serves only to instill fear in a group of people who have already suffered mightily. If you bring up a valid point, you can weather the backlash. When your 'irreverence' has no redeeming v
        • I'm not going to go out of my way to defend Disney. I find them among the most crass of corporations, taking in cultural motifs and beloved tales and putting them through a sausage grinder to produce such awful dreck as Pocahontas and Mulan. At the same time, I can say quite honestly that if one of my staff made Youtube blatantly anti-Semitic Youtube videos, he'd be gone in a hurry. I believe in free speech, so I suppose to some extent that makes me a hypocrite, but my personal philosophy and the necessitie

          • At the same time, I can say quite honestly that if one of my staff made Youtube blatantly anti-Semitic Youtube videos, he'd be gone in a hurry.

            Yep. Me too.

            I believe in free speech, so I suppose to some extent that makes me a hypocrite [...]

            Nope. I don't think you are. It's quite simple: "We've chosen to dissociate ourselves with Mr. Kjellberg because his actions do not reflect the values and attitudes of Disney." I'm not objecting to their dissociation, and I think what I just offered is at least passable

            • My objection is to the implicit approval of praising 'irreverence'. I really don't think PewDiePie meant any harm. But its precisely a culture that praises irreverence as a good in itself which leads to irreverent and, sooner or later, 'inappropriate' speech.

              ^ This. The last twenty years has seen a huge rise in the comedy/entertainment of irreverence. And when done well it can make an important point (Brasseye's celebrity endorsements being the best example I can think of). But the worst of it is when it simply exploits people for entertainment. Or when any 'message' is so obvious as to not need saying in the first place.

          • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

            I believe in free speech, so I suppose to some extent that makes me a hypocrite

            No it doesn't. That's a right-wing frame, don't buy it. Free speech automatically implies freedom of association: no-one can force you to stand by and listen to speech you don't want to hear.

            If you are worried, you should be worried about whether or not you are abusing a power relationship to impinge on that secondary freedom (of association). But hypocrisy it is not.

        • by Evtim ( 1022085 )

          If anything is taboo you can never have discussion about it...never learn from the experience and never prevent it from happening again...also who guarantees that the taboo is " right" . Consider for instance the idea that the pope can make no mistakes....how does that sound with all the pedo scandals....it was a taboo to speak against the clergy, shall we uphold that? What about the proposed new law in Russia to criminalize criticism against the government? Do you like that taboo?
          When I can't reach EU leg

          • Do you like that taboo?

            "Some things should be taboo" "All things should be taboo" nor "All taboos are good"

            A taboo against posting signs that say "Death to all Jews", for example, can be a good thing. I shouldn't like legislation to that effect, but I am happy that such language is not acceptable in polite company.

            also who guarantees that the taboo is " right"

            No one. Taboos are a matter of social pressure and standards, not some centralized guarantor or body. The mental mechanism which causes taboos can

      • The two situations are not the same.

        Whether it's the police cam or the voice mail, Mel Gibson showed his true colors.

        In the case of this YouTuber, whether he's anti-semitic or not, it doesn't really matter. He's an idiot for not knowing Disney's usual take on things.

      • by fred911 ( 83970 )

        "That doesn't, however, bind private actors like citizens or corporations from disassociating themselves from people who make anti-Semitic statements."

        Especially when an exceptionally large proportion of the controlling entities of the entertainment business are by birth or marriage, Jewish. Not only could it be seen as offensive to some, but it's just a plain stupid business decision.

      • by Raenex ( 947668 )

        Generally, in the post-WWII Western world, making Holocaust jokes or anti-Jewish jokes is seen at the very least in pretty poor taste

        Too soon?

      • Put more simply, "death to all jews" in a vacuum is stupid and offensive, but we don't live in a vacuum. In the context of our modern world this was an actual goal that a homicidal maniac was able to, at the very least, make significant headway toward attaining just 75 years ago. Plenty of his victims are still alive, with far more children and grandchildren, so this is still well within the collective conscience of the world and particularly the west.

        It's mind boggling to me that the guy who probably has

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I call this the Sheldon Cooper argument, essentially complaining that social norms are not completely logical and applied evenly.

      The thing is, a walking encyclopedia like Sheldon should actually understand this very well. It's basically due to historic context and society over time deciding that certain issues are bad enough that they deserve some special consideration to correct.

      Personally I think claims of antisemitism are made far too often, usually by Jewish people, and perhaps Disney acted a bit hastil

  • ironic (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slew ( 2918 )

    Apparently this PewDie bro used to make money making Rape jokes videos, but apparently Maker Studios (Disney) was okay with that because of "money".
    Now, as a "joke", this bro paid random people to $5 (on fiver) to record themselves holding antisemitic signs and felt remorse...

    So, by using fiver to point out that anyone will do anything for money, but probably later regret it, he pointed out to Disney their course of action...

    I just can't feel sorry for the bro ;^)

  • Good work (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @08:44PM (#53869863)
    It's great to see that people who cannot abide a little bit of anything "not quite right" are making certain to fire and otherwise ostracize all non-politically correct and offensive others. Good work snowflakes.

    Two thoughts. When you cater to whims of the easily offended, they do not become less offended, they find more things to be offended about.

    Y'all easily offended just clean up your little corner of the room, arranging everything meticulously and making it perfect and pure - while other people elect the people you like the least.

    Now I'm going to go to Youtube and watch some Bill Maher and Louis CK.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      IMHO the problem here is not Youtube kicking someone for any reason Youtube want, the problem is there isn't really much in the way of competition.
  • So? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nunya666 ( 4446709 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @09:49PM (#53870265)
    I cut ties with Disney after they outsourced their IT department.

    News at 11.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've embraced them. I download torrents of all their movies and watch them with great interest. I try not to miss a one. Very loyal, yesiree.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    Oh, yeah.

    Folks, extremism is extremism and is not a virtue; and moderation and considered judgement is. It is a rare thing to find anything "always" or "never".

  • If you do something that my business finds distasteful, I'm free to fire your ass. Isn't this exactly the freedom from government restrictions on how I choose to run my business that the right wants?

    • Isn't this exactly the freedom from government restrictions on how I choose to run my business that the right wants?

      Half. I don't want the government forcing Christians to bake gay wedding cakes either. I spent a decade yelling at Christians to stop trying to force their shit on the gays, only to have the gays turn around and force their shit on the Christians. I'm beginning to think libertarian society is impossible because authority is too addictive.

  • Bullshit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JThundley ( 631154 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2017 @07:25PM (#53876765) Homepage

    This is a lot of bullshit. He was making a joke, it's very obvious. He wasn't espousing racist beliefs. Youtube and Disney took the clips out of context. Watch this video about the ordeal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLNSiFrS3n4 [youtube.com]

    This also happened to another streaming personality, Destiny. He was having a debate about racism (he's against it), and said something along the lines of "If you're argument is 'n*ggers are too dumb to do X, Y and Z, then blah blah'. Speaking in the 3rd person; speaking as the very racists he's combating. I guess the N word is to controversial to say in any context, he was banned from Twitch.

    And now I'm having trouble posting this because of the lameness filter! I can't say the N word here for the same reason! Jesus fuck! Yes I'm trying to say the full N word, no I'm not a racist, I'm sorry if you're offended, but fuck you for changing my speech.

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