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No matter what YouTube star PewDiePie does or how many times he apologizes, he’s probably never going to completely distance him from the racist actions of his past. But when a petition recently called for him to be banned from YouTube because he “promote[s] and affiliate[s] himself with white supremacist and Nazi ideologies,” PewDiePie again tried to defend himself. While also highlighting old apologies he’s made.
In a 17-minute vlog he uploaded Sunday, PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, highlighted the Change.org petition’s points against him and basically scoffed at the idea that he’s a white nationalist.
“Oh frick, not a petition,” PewDiePie said with sarcasm. “I might as well delete my channel right here and right now. I might as well start finding a new job. Petitions are the most effective way to make a change in the whole world.”
In the petition—which has been signed nearly 80,000 times—creator Maria Ruiz said PewDiePie used the N-word and had hired other people to do the same, paid Indian men on the Fiverr website to hold up signs that said “Death to all Jews,” performed the Nazi salute, and made rape jokes.
“Just by glancing over the points they made against me, it’s so blatantly misrepresenting and misinforming people,” he said. “A lot of these points are just flat-out lies as well. Context, who needs that? Unimportant. I don’t care. … Honestly, it’s surprising how Change.org is even letting this be up. There’s nothing to back up any of these claims.”
PewDiePie acknowledged that some of the charges were true, including using the N-word slur during a live stream and for paying two Indian men on the Fiverr site to hold up an anti-Semitic sign.
“I’ve paid the consequences, and I’ve learned from that mistake,” PewDiePie said in his latest video. “I guess we’ve got to keep hearing it [for] the next 60 years. It’s such a broken record at this point.”
Still, PewDiePie remains at the top of the YouTube popularity chart. Although he’s been battling for the No. 1 spot with T-Series for the past eight months and although he conceded that T-Series had beaten him, PewDiePie, as of this writing, still has a 400,000-subscriber lead over the Indian music and movie production channel.
Despite his popularity, he wanted to make a point of responding to the petition.
“As laughable as these points are, a lot of people are taking it seriously … If you don’t know anything about me or know anything to challenge these points, it paints a really bad picture of me that isn’t true or anywhere near accurate,” he said. “Just for the sake of being ridiculously clear, anyone who’s a racist or anyone who’s a white nationalist, that’s not what I’m about or what this channel has ever been about. It’s so crazy to me how it’s even still a topic of discussion.”
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.