UPDATE: Kjellberg issued an apology in a video on his YouTube channel:
“Whenever I go online and hear other players use the language I did, I always find it extremely immature and stupid and I hate how I now personally fed into that part of gaming as well,” he said. “It was something I said in the heat of the moment. I said the worst word I could possibly think of. It sort of slipped out.
I’m not going to make any excuses to why I did it because there are no excuses for it. I’m disappointed in myself because it seems like I’ve learned nothing from these past controversies. It’s not that I think I can say or do and get away with it … that’s not it at all. I’m just an idiot.
“I’m really sorry if I offended, hurt or disappointed anyone with all of this. Being in the position that I’m in, I should know better. I know I can’t keep messing up like this. I owe it to my audience and myself to do better than this.”
You can watch the whole video below.
Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg found himself in hot water again Sunday after he was recorded using a racial slur during a livestream of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds.
Watch the video below. (Warning, contains profanity and a racial slur):
“What a f–king n—-r,” Kjellberg said during the stream. “Sorry, but what the f–k. What a f–king a–hole.”
According to multiple sources, Kjellberg said the slur while streaming to his YouTube channel. At the time, his audience was reportedly around 30,000 viewers. An archived version of the video, which he typically leaves up after a play-session, is not available. Kjellberg has not issued any statements on any of his social media channels or Tumblr page. Request for comment was still unanswered as of press time.
A History of Controversy
This is not the star’s first brush with controversy. In February 2016, the 27-year-old Swede came under fire for paying two Sri Lankan men to hold up a sign that read “Death to all Jews.”
The two men, who go by Funny Guys on YouTube, issued an apology saying they didn’t understand what “Jews” meant. They were banned from Fivver but were reinstated after Kjellberg advocated on their behalf. “I feel bad this whole thing happened,” said Kjellberg of the incident in another video.
Kjellberg defended the video, saying on Tumblr, “I picked something that seemed absurd to me — that people on Fiverr would say anything for five 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.”
As a result of the Fiverr video, the second season of Scare Pewdiepie on YouTube Red was cancelled and the Disney-owned company, Maker Studios, cut ties with Kjellberg. In a statement on his channel, he said, “the media takes what I say out of context … to use against me to portray me as a Nazi.”
Kjellberg has also been briefly suspended from Twitter for making jokes about joining the Islamic State.
Fallout From New Controversy
As a result of the latest controversy, Sean Vanaman, co-founder of Campo Santo, the game studio behind popular indie game Firewatch, took to Twitter to say he’ll be taking legal action against PewDiePie.
We’re filing a DMCA takedown of PewDiePie’s Firewatch content and any future Campo Santo games.
— Sean Vanaman (@vanaman) September 10, 2017
Kjellberg’s playthrough of Firewatch, which had more than five million views, has since been taken down from his channel. In a series of tweets Vanaman calls Kjellberg,”worse than a closeted racist: he’s a propagator of despicable garbage that does real damage to the culture around this industry.”
In August, Kjellberg issued a video in the wake of the “Unite The Right” protests in Charlottesville, VA, to repeat that he did not hold hateful beliefs. “I want nothing to do with these people,” he said.
This story is developing.