YouTuber PewDiePie changes his mind about $50,000 donation to anti-hate group

Written by Corby Radio News on 13th September 2019

YouTuber PewDiePie has rescinded his pledge to donate $50,000 to an anti-hate group after a backlash from his fans.

The internet celebrity had agreed to donate to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) after they criticised him for using antisemitic language.

But on Thursday he posted a video saying he had learned "a lot of things" about the Jewish group.

He said he did not feel "genuine" about making the donation and would instead pick a charity that he was "personally passionate about".

PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, previously described his donation as an "opportunity" to separate himself from the far right.

He has been criticised in the past for using racist language, and Disney and YouTube stopped sponsoring his channel after some of his videos used Nazi imagery and antisemitic jokes.

Earlier this year, the Swede said he was "sickened" by a reference to his channel made in a video posted by the alleged gunman behind the Christchurch mosque attacks.

At the beginning of footage, the man said: "Remember lads, subscribe to PewDiePie."

Despite those controversies, the 29-year-old – who recently married his longtime girlfriend in London – last week topped a list of the 100 most influential people in digital media.

Kjellberg has more than 100 million subscribers on YouTube, and some of his followers had suggested that he was blackmailed into making his original pledge to the ADL.

ADL chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt commended Disney for cutting ties with him back in 2017.

He said at the time: "PewDiePie is entitled to his views, but neither Disney nor any other company has any obligation to support his wide dissemination of hate speech."

The group said it had not heard from Kjellberg about the donation or his decision to retract it, adding that it had only found out via the videos on his channel.

© Sky News 2019

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