Update: PewDiePie Issues Apology For Uttering Racial Slur During PUBG Stream
Update (09/12/17 at 9:57 a.m.): Kjellberg has released an apology video for saying a racial slur during a PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds stream. In the video, he says:
It was something that I said in the heat of the moment. I said the worst word I could possibly think of, and it just sort of slipped out. I’m not going to make any excuses for why it did, because there are no excuses for it. I’m disappointed in myself, because it seems like I’ve learned nothing from all these past controversies. And it’s not that I think I can say or do whatever I want and get away with it. I’m just an idiot. But that doesn’t make what I said, or how I said it, OK.
You can watch the full video here:
For more on the incident, read our opinion piece on why this is worth covering in the first place.
Update (09/10/17 at 4:50 p.m.): After Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) uttered a racial slur during a PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds stream, Firewatch developer Sean Vanaman came forward on Twitter with plans to take action. Vanaman and his studio, Campo Santo, are filing DMCA takedowns of any of Firewatch's content that appear in Kjellberg's videos. This DMCA takedown will also disallow Kjellberg from streaming future Campo Santo games.
"I am sick of this child getting more and more chances to make money off of what we make," writes Vanaman on Twitter.
Vanaman's reasoning is that he believes Kjelberg's image is negative to the industry, and that developers should not support or associate themselves with him. He says he will be "reaching out to folks much larger than us to cut him off from the content that has made him a milionaire [sic]."
You can view Vanaman's series of tweets below.
There is a bit of leeway you have to have with the internet when u wake up every day and make video games. There's also a breaking point.— Sean Vanaman (@vanaman) September 10, 2017
He's worse than a closeted racist: he's a propagator of despicable garbage that does real damage to the culture around this industry.— Sean Vanaman (@vanaman) September 10, 2017
Lastly: I love streamers. I watch them daily and we sent out over 3000 keys to professional and amateur streamers of FW.— Sean Vanaman (@vanaman) September 10, 2017
In February, Felix Kjellberg (AKA) PewDiePie was dropped from both Disney as well as Google for creating anti-semitic content, including a video where Kjellberg watches two men hold a sign up that says "Death To All Jews."
Later that month, Kjellberg responded to being dropped by the two companies with a video where he said, saying the joke went too far while also lashing out at the media: "My intention was to prove how stupid [fiverr.com] is and how far you could push it by just paying $5. I'm sorry for the words that I used as I know they offended people, and I admit that the joke itself went too far...Old school media does not like internet personalities... because they're scared of us."
Kjellberg is stirring up controversy again with a stream of him playing PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and saying a racial slur (the n-word) during an intense moment of gameplay. You can watch the video here if you want but be warned, the language is strong and derogatory.
At the time of this writing, Kjellberg is the richest YouTuber in the world and has an audience of over 57 million subscribers.
Kjellberg is an entertainer and easily one of the most powerful people in an industry undergoing a massive sea change when it comes to media and video games. However, we do not feel that this gives Kjellberg a license to say racial slurs and not be taken to task for it, especially in an industry that still fails when it comes to handling toxic multiplayer communities. We hope that given the massive audience that Kjellberg has, and the number of young, impressionable men and women among them, he issues an apology and endeavor to be a better role model in the future.