YouTube’s biggest star continues to have a very-public meltdown, in what’s looking like a deliberate (if possibly subconscious) act of self-sabotage.
Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg has been dropped by Disney after posting several videos including anti-semitic content, and now YouTube has cancelled the second season of his YouTube Red show ‘Scare PewDiePie’ and removed him from its Google Preferred advertising program.
“PewDiePie won’t lose his channel or his more than 50 million subscribers, and he can continue to monetise them through regular advertising,” points out The Verge. “But YouTube did remove ads from the videos that set off this uproar, and will no doubt be keeping a close eye on whatever their provocative poster boy uploads in the near future.”
For his part, PewDiePie has argued that he doesn’t support hate speech or far-right beliefs, but was trying to make a (distinctly half-baked) point about free speech and the context of jokes made online.
After publicly admitting last year that he was struggling with the pressures of feeding his huge, demanding YouTube fanbase, though, we wonder if PewDiePie is just an early (if high-profile) example of a YouTuber going off the rails, laid low by the challenges of a very 21st century kind of digital fame.