PewDiePie, a.k.a. Felix Kjellberg, has more subscribers than anyone else on YouTube. And on Sunday, he angrily used the n-word during a livestream that has since been seen by millions.
In the now-deleted video, Kjellberg was streaming himself playing “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.” Furious at another player during a tense moment in the gameplay, the influential gaming personality said, “What a f—— n—–.”
“Jeez, oh my God, what the f—,” he said. “Sorry, but what the f—. What a f—ing a——. I don’t mean that in a bad way.”
Kjellberg has used racist language and imagery in his videos before. And when he’s condemned for it — by the media, by advertisers or by YouTube — his defenders often rally behind the accusation that he’s being unfairly taken out of context. The Nazi jokes that, thanks to a Wall Street Journal report, resulted in the YouTube star losing his premium show on the platform’s subscription service and his deal with Disney, were supposed to mock Nazisim, not promote it, the defense went.
This time, he had used the n-word, in anger, at another person. There’s no additional context to be missed.
On Tuesday morning, Kjellberg posted a video in response in which he agreed there were “no excuses” for what he said.
“You probably won’t believe me when I say this,” his response begins, “but whenever I go online, and I hear other players use the same kind of language that 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.”
Kjellberg said he used the word “in the heat of the moment,” and chose the “worst word I could possibly think of.”
“I’m disappointed in myself,” he added. “It seems like I’ve learned nothing from all these past controversies.”
Kjellberg holds a singular, and increasingly unsettled, place in gaming and YouTube culture. He rose to fame years ago for his Let’s Plays — or videos where gamers record themselves playing a video game, often with humorous commentary. PewDiePie’s specialty was scary games.
As his fame grew (he now has a staggering 57 million subscribers), his videos started branching out into vlogs, comedy videos and rants about a variety of subjects. A running theme of his recently was attacking institutions such as YouTube as a corporate entity. Sometimes he’d turn his anger on the mainstream media, whom he believed were, at best, guilty of not understanding him and his fan base; at worst they were out to take him down.
PewDiePie’s online persona is something of a paradox.
Whether intentionally or not, it shifts as needed during a controversy to allow him to position himself in the ideal defensive crouch. Kjellberg is a professional entertainer, one who makes millions from his comedy and gaming videos. As YouTube’s biggest personality, his actions — good and bad — are often seen beyond the platform’s core community as representative of all YouTube creators. His audience is immense and overwhelmingly young, and he’s an influential figure to many of his followers.
But when Kjellberg does something offensive, he’s defended as though he were a naughty child, just a random guy who plays video games on the Internet who can’t help but pick up on some of the crudeness of “gaming culture.” Even the name “PewDiePie” sounds silly when juxtaposed next to serious issues or accusations.
PewDiePie says the ‘N’ Word: https://youtu.be/LLWIlXL5Dcg
PewDiePie apologizes: https://youtu.be/cLdxuaxaQwc
How do you think online gaming should be handled? Let us know.
Check out our previous episodes.
- Black Panther
- Cloverfield, Altered Carbon and Devilman
- The Room
- The Razzies
- Superhero Films
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi Discussion
- Favorite TGIF Shows
- Avengers Infinity War, 158 Jumanji, the Punisher and more.
- Lord of the Rings, Fantastic Beasts, and the Star Wars micro transactions
- Justice League Discussion
- Thor Ragnarok Discussion
- BlizzCon, Shazam,and other News
- Worst Halloween Candy
- Summer Movies 2017 - The Good, The Bad, and The Bad
- Star Wars The Last Jedi - Do The Trailers Show Too Much?
- Netflix is Raising Prices - Will You Cancel?
- Blade Runner 2049 - What Did You Think?
- Pirates or Ninjas and other "This or That" questions.
- Star Trek Discovery is getting pirated a lot.
- PewDiePie and the Toxic Culture of Online gaming
- Marvel's Inhumans - Are you looking forward?
- Twin Peaks Discussion w/ special guest Joy Nash
- Star Wars Episode IX - Are You Happy with JJ Abrams?
- DC Douglas: You Can't Tame the Beast, You Can Only Ride the Dragon
- We've returned from Dragon Con!
- Dragon Con: What Do You Look Forward To?
- Game of Thrones - Stop spoiling with leaked episodes!
- Dark Tower: Should You See It?
- NASA Is Hiring a Planetary Protection Officer
- Justice League: The Superman Stache Situation
- San Diego Comic-Con Movie News
- Doctor Who - And the new Doctor is...?
- Spider-Man Homecoming - Spoiler Free
- Spider-Man Homecoming - SPOILERS
- Netflix's Glow - First Impressions
- The Han Solo Movie - Is It In Trouble?
- Black Panther Trailer
- Wonder Woman - SPOILERS
- Wonder Woman - Spoiler Free
- Alien Covenant - Spoiler Free
- Venom - Can Tom Hardy Pull It Off?
- Judge Dredd and Deadpool coming to TV
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 - Spoiler Free
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 - SPOILERS
- The Circle - Spoiler Free
- X-Files is Back
- Star Wars The Last Jedi Teaser
- Curtis Armstrong Interview
- Santa Clarita Diet
- Power Rangers - Spoiler Free
- Iron Fist - Spoiler Free
- Netflix Medieval Korean Zombies
- Oscars 2017
- No New Episode This Week
- Love Actually Mini Sequel
- Cheeto Harambe
- Black Lightning - Coming to CW
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi
- Split - We Discuss the Big Twist
- The OA - Should You Watch It?
- Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
- The OA - SPOILERS
- Episode 100 (Rebroadcast)
- Episode 50 (Rebroadcast)
- Star Wars: Rogue One - SPOILERS
- Star Wars: Rogue One - Spoiler Free
- Tom Cruise - I Think I May Love Him
- Arrowverse Crossover
- Star Wars: Rogue One News
- Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them - Spoiler Free
- Young Justice is back!
- Dr. Strange - Spoiler Free
- Deadpool - Director Drama
- Nintendo Switch News
- Fantastic Breasts and Where to Find Them
- Power Rangers Trailer
- Luke Cage - Spoiler Free
- Booster Gold
- Episode 100
- Young Justice
- Dragon Con 2015: Revisited
- Dragon Con 2014: Revisited
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Stranger Things - Spoiler Free
- Suicide Squad - Spoiler Free
- Batman: The Killing Joke
- San Diego Comic Con 2016
- Ghostbusters - Spoiler Free
- Pokemon Go
- George RR Tolkien
- Top Gear
- E3 2016
- Overwatch and more Overwatch
- X-Men: Apocalypse - Spoiler Free
- Jennifer Lawrence
- TV Renewals and Cancellations
- Captain America: Civil War - SPOILERS
- Supergirl - And Why You Shouldn't Throw Shade
- Tony P's Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
- Will Smith Wants to be Batman!?!
- Star Wars: Rogue One Trailer
- Batman Akham Knight
- Batman v Superman - SPOILERS
- Batman v Superman - Spoiler Free
- Daredevil Season 2 - Spoiler Free
- Captain America Civil War Trailer
- X-Files 2016 - Spoiler Free
- CCSSC Toy and Comic Book Show
- F**K Marvel!
- Deadpool - Spoiler Free
- Ex Machina - Spoiler Free
- Lord of the Rings
- Suicide Squad - Will It Be Good?
- Darth Vader Returns
- Tales from the Crypt
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens - SPOILERS
- Jessica Jones - Spoiler Free
- Disney World woes
- Jessica Jones and Supergirl
- Extra Life 2015
- We May Need a Nuka Cola
- The Force Awakens - Spoiler Free
- League of Legends - Can N. America compete?
- Arrow and Flash have returned!
- Walking Dead Spin Off Spin Off
- It's Fall TV Ya'll
- Clara Oswald - Good Riddance
- DragonCon 2015
- Captain America: Civil War - Which Side Do You Pick?
- Fear The Walking Dead - Will You Watch?
- DRAGON CON '14 - Looking Back
- Fantastic Four - Should You See It?
- Spiderman Origins
- Antman - Spoiler Free
- Episode 50
- Episode 49 1/2
- President Barack Obama on a podcast
- Jurassic World - Spoiler Free
- Golden Girls nonsense
- Assault on Arkham
- Timegate 2015
- Chad Kroeger
- Legends of Tomorrow
- Marvel Movies - The Villian Problem
- Free Comic Book Day
- Arrow and The Flash
- Gay Ice Man
- Geek Madness 2015 Winner
- Avengers - Post Credit Scene discussion
- Idris Elba in Star Trek
- Cards Against Humanity
- Apple Watch
- Avengers 2 Trailer
- The Dress - What color is it?
- Polar Bears
- Pancakes vs Waffles
- Dead Air Sneak Preview
- Red Skull's Biggest Fan
- Jessica Jones and Agent Carter
- Serial podcast - SPOILERS
- The Oscar's - Lack of Diversity
- Black Mirror - Spoiler Free
- Episode 25 - Q&A
- A Black Star Wars Storm Trooper
- Hunger Games Catching Fire - Spoiler Free
- Black Friday 2014
- Clue - The Movie
- The 6 Million Dollar Man
- Wonder Woman
- Halloween Spectacular 2014
- Kevin J. Anderson interview
- Twin Peaks Returns
- Batman's Wife
- Maze Runner - Spoiler Free
- Magic The Gathering
- Dragon Con Badge Winner
- Dragon Con 2014
- Bits and Pieces
- Star Wars vs. Doctor Who
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Movies, Monkeys, and movies about monkeys
- American Girl
- Homestar Runner - Everybody, Everybody
- Netflix Theme Songs