Pewdiepie has been accused of being a closet white nationalist and even inspiring mass shootings. This narrative has followed the Youtuber across various social media channels for the past few months.
Felix Kjellberg, famously known to the rest of the world as Pewdiepie, says it’s all a misunderstanding.
He gave an interview to the New York Times in the aftermath of the Christchurch shooting in March, where a shooter opened fire in a mosque and was filmed saying, “Remember, lads, subscribe to PewDiePie.”
The Youtuber genuinely repeated his concern for the victims and their families, and he reiterated what he said about himself a dozen times before: neither was he a white nationalist, nor someone who condones violence.
It is important to note how this interview is something out of the ordinary. Notably, Kjellberg hasn’t given an interview in years — a guy with millions of YouTube subscribers had little need to be talking about his life with reporters.
Pewds may have had a change of heart and wanted a chance to explain his views.
Regardless, his comments make it sound as if he still doesn’t seem to understand how to grapple with his level of global fame and influence.
My job is just: I go to my office; I record a video in front of a camera… It’s weird for me to be in this position [of influence], because I don’t really want to be in this position.
Fans were torn regarding the matter. This comment was the last thing many expected to hear from the YT icon, especially with how he’s waltzing into one controversy after another.
His political preferences seem to be almost entirely grounded on entertainment value. With about 4,000 videos on his channel, he doesn’t endorse candidates, debate podcast hosts, and Trump became a meme to him for a while.
His apathy towards politics and other social issues might seem unlikely, but it received mixed reactions from those who follow him devotedly.
Felix may not want to get into politics, but when extreme right news outlets start adopting him as their hero, he has a responsibility as a large content creator to either directly speak out against that, or accept being tied to those politics.
One fan pointed out.
While another user commented:
Sad state when people’s own lives are so hollowed out that they have to live vicariously by following a total zero 24/7. Vacuity personified, for the vacuous masses. Read a good book or watch a classic movie instead if you need an escape.
Regardless, his fans seems to believe in him still. With one person commenting,
I think PieDiePie did not do that with a bad intention, he is a content creator, so, he needs to receive attention.
Kjellberg may have started his Youtube channel with the intention of freely saying whatever he wanted on the internet, but with 101 million subscribers, he’s no longer in a position where he can just let his words sort itself out.