It has been a very eventful week for the YouTube community and those who stay up to date with the drama. A week that started out with a video from content cop himself – iDubbbzTV and him exposing Tana Mongeau, a story time YouTuber who bashed him for using the “N word”. Ironically, the video iDubbbz cleverly created speaks about context, as he has never used the “N word” in an offensive way, only for comedy. This video was a huge success for iDubbbz but in the same week YouTube’s most subscribed personality, Pewdiepie has been bashed by the mainstream media accusing him of being anti-semitic. Even though the comments he made were also for comedy.
 
It all started with a publication named the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) posting an article titled; ‘Disney Severs Ties With YouTube Star PewDiePie After Anti-Semitic Posts’. Originally, PewdiePie worked with Disney owned, Maker Studios who gave him his own platform named Revelmode allowing him to make mobile apps, games etc but ended up dropping him. Later on that day (Tue, 14th Feb), more news surfaced that YouTube cancelled his second Red series Scare Pewdiepie with it almost being completely finished. In the article, the journalists claim that Pewdiepie, real name Felix Kjellberg, had shown multiple anti-semitic signs throughout many of his videos. One video that got mentioned had Kjellberg use a website named ‘Fiverr’ and paid two men to hold up a sign saying ‘death to all Jews’, another thing that the two men said which the media left out was ‘subscribe to Keemstar’. The creator of Drama-Alert and someone who is constantly mocked by other content creators.
 
The idea of this video was for Kjellberg to show how low people will go for five dollars. If they were to put up a sign that was not at all offensive, there would have been no point to the video. Of course, there are people who were always going to be offended but this isn’t the first time Pewdiepie has made an offensive joke, it’s what got him so popular in the first place.
 
The second video WSJ pointed out as anti-semitic was a video of him dressed in a soldier uniform whilst watching a Hitler speech. Ironically, the whole of this video is Kjellberg calling out the media for taking things out of context and of course, they take this one out of context also.
Pewdiepie has since published a response video, apologising for the jokes he made. But also telling WSJ to ‘try again, motherfuckers’ as this publicity didn’t bring him down. In fact, he has made +300K subscribers in the past 5 days. However, he has been dropped by Disney and YouTube, rightfully too as they do have a reputation to hold. Of course, if a paper approach such big companies like this asking if they support a ‘Nazi’, they are going to protect themselves, even if that means turning their back on their biggest client.
 
 The most fascinating thing that has come out of this is other YouTubers such as H3H3, Markiplier, Keemstar and even KSI who Pewdiepie has bad history with, coming to his defence. A community that builds itself from drama coming together is nice to see, but no doubt it will be back to exposing each other again next week.
 
The true question in all this is ‘does comedy have a boundary?’ There are things that people find funny that others may not and that is fine, but we live in a time where an individual has the right of ‘free speech’ (depending on the country you are based in, of course). Not to mention animations such as South Park and Family Guy that say the most offensive things and always get away with it. Why? Because it is comedy and not an actual opinion. The whole reason offensive programs like these and YouTuber’s such as PewdiePie are successful is because they say things out of the norm. Dark humour, something that teenagers are attracted to because it is disapproved by parents and is in some way rebellious. As Ricky Gervais once said - “If you can't joke about the most horrendous things in the world, what's the point of jokes? What's the point in having humour? Humour is to get us over terrible things.”

Published by Nicole Reid