In 2016, Forbes reported PewDiePie had raked in $15 million over a 12-month period ending last June.

By Stephanie Petit and Patrick Gomez
February 14, 2017 12:21 PM
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

One month after YouTube sensation Felix Kjellberg — better known by his online persona PewDiePie — allegedly uploaded videos containing shocking anti-semitic content, the video-hosting site is taking action.

A YouTube spokesperson tells PEOPLE that they’ve canceled the second season of Kjellberg’s scripted series.

“We’ve decided to cancel the release of Scare PewDiePie Season 2 and we’re removing the PewDiePie channel from Google Preferred,” the spokesperson said, referring to the advertising service for engaging and brand-safe content.

YouTube’s decision follows the news that Maker Studios, a division of Disney, suspended ties with PewDiePie over his anti-semitic videos.

“Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate. Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward,” a spokesperson for the company told The Wall Street Journal.

According to the outlet, the 27-year-old Swedish comedian posted nine videos that included anti-Semitic content since August. Three posted in the month of January have been taken down. YouTube was not responsible for taking down the videos that have been removed from the PewDiePie channel, but the company had demonetized (meaning removed the ability for revenue-generating ads to play before and during the video) the videos because they violated the company’s advertiser policies.

In one of the removed videos from Jan. 11, a pair of South Asian men wearing costume loincloths held up a banner that read, “Death to all Jews.” Another video reportedly showed a man dressed as Jesus Christ saying, “Hitler did nothing wrong.”

PewDiePie did not respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.


In a Tumblr post shared Sunday, PewDiePie addressed the controversy — and said he did not intend to offend.

“I think it’s important to say something and I want to make one thing clear: I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes,” he wrote. “I make videos for my audience. I think of the content that I create as entertainment, and not a place for any serious political commentary. I know my audience understands that and that is why they come to my channel. Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive.”

YouTube bans content that violates its policy on hate speech, although it does allow videos deemed humorous or satirical to remain online, even if offensive or in poor taste. Their policy is to only remove content if the uploader’s intent is to incite violence or hatred.

“There is a fine line between what is and what is not considered to be hate speech. For instance, it is generally okay to criticize a nation-state, but not okay to post malicious hateful comments about a group of people solely based on their ethnicity,” according to a statement on YouTube’s policy center.

Since he started his channel back in 2008, PewDiePie has amassed over 50 million subscribers thanks to his goofy, often profane videos that feature him playing popular video games. In 2013, he became the most popular channel on YouTube and racked up more than 14 million new subscribers in 2014 alone. In 2015, he became the first person to reach 10 billion views on YouTube.

In 2016, Forbes reported PewDiePie had raked in $15 million over a 12-month period ending last June.

“I feel like I’ve matured a lot and humor has definitely improved and I just keep doing what I want to do,” he told PEOPLE last year. “It’s easy to listen to the fans and do what they want you to keep doing but I think you end up in a trap if you do that too much. I just do videos that I think I’d enjoy and hope that it translates to the fans.”