Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg landed himself in hot water again this week after shouting a racial slur live on stream, prompting action from developers to issue DMCA takedowns in a bid to disassociate themselves. Inevitably, PewDiePie has issued an apology addressing the most recent matter, making no excuse or defence for his actions.
PewDiePie was playing the recent supermassive hit PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds when in the thick of competition, he uttered the N-word in response to a teammate’s actions. Being the biggest YouTuber in the world, clips and captures of the moment circulated like wildfire, prompting many to criticise Kjellberg for using racially charged language.
Most notably, head developer of Firewatch, Sean Vanaman publicly announced that a DMCA takedown was filed over all of the studio’s content on PewDiePie’s channel, saying “He’s worse than a closeted racist: he’s a propagator of despicable garbage that does real damage to the culture around this industry.”
PewDiePie’s latest apology video titled ‘My Response’ is a little different than the usual we see from him, however, as he offers no excuse as to why he said what he said, as well as making no attempt to defend himself against those calling him racist.
“You probably won’t believe me when I say this but whenever I go online and I hear other players use the same kind of language I did, I always find it extremely immature and stupid. And I hate how I now personally fed into that part of gaming as well,” said PewDiePie. “It was something 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 as to why it did because there are no excuses for it.”
Of course, Vanaman’s comments aren’t based solely on this one incident, as PewDiePie got himself into trouble back in February 2017 when Kjellberg orchestrated a prank involving an anti-Semitic rhetoric. This led to the star being dropped from his network and YouTube cancelling his reality show for its subscription based platform YouTube Red. ‘My Response’ addresses this as well, with Kjellberg recognising that more is expected of him.
“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. That’s not it at all. I’m just an idiot. But that doesn’t make what I said or how I said it okay. It was not okay.”
“I’m really sorry if I offended, hurt or disappointed anyone with all of this. Being in the position I am, I should know better. I know I can’t keep messing up like this. I owe it to my audience and to myself to do better than this because I know I’m better than this,” PewDiePie says in his closing statements. “I really want to improve myself and better myself, not just for me, but for anyone who looks up to me or anyone who’s influenced by me. That’s how I want to move forward away from this.”