Disney ends affiliation with YouTube Star, PewDiePie

The Internet star allegedly posted a video that included two men laughing as they held a banner that read “Death to all Jews.”

Disney’s Maker Studios has severed ties with YouTube star PewDiePie, aka Felix Kjellberg, after he released a series of anti-Semitic posts to his 53 million subscribers.

Kjellberg, a 27-year-old Swede whose YouTube antics secured him multimillion-dollar deals with YouTube and Disney, posted a Jan. 11 video that included two men laughing as they held a banner that read “Death to all Jews.” He made a total of nine other videos that made anti-Semitic comments or used Nazi imagery, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the news.

Disney, which has owned Maker Studios since 2014, said it was severing ties with him.

“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,” reads a statement from a Maker spokeswoman. “Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward.”

Kjellberg is YouTube’s top star, with more subscribers than any other home-grown talent on the streaming service. The gamer, known for his goofy videos in which he commentates while playing video games, also was the most high-profile YouTuber in Maker’s network of creators. Since Kjellberg signed with the YouTube network in 2012, Maker has helped him expand into new ventures, producing his YouTube Red reality series Scare PewDiePie and launching a gaming-centric digital network called Revelmode.

This isn’t the first time Kjellberg has made some controversial moves on social media. Last summer he was briefly suspended from Twitter over concerns that his account had been hacked. At the time, a source told The Hollywood Reporter that that suspension had been a misunderstanding that resulted from comments he made about ISIS and his use of a graphic Twitter profile picture.

Kjellberg took to Tumblr to defend his more recent comments. “I was trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online,” he wrote, continuing, “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.”

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter