Scarlet May, a deaf TikToker, has responded after PewDiePie — YouTube’s most-subscribed creator — mocked her in a reaction video earlier this week.
Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg is coming under fire after he mocked a deaf TikToker who used American Sign Language with long acrylic nails.
The YouTuber copied her hand signals and even recreated her movements with his pet pug, Maya, in a reaction video uploaded on July 26, 2022.
Although PewDiePie has since deleted that segment from his original video, clips of the moment went viral online, with many critics rallying against him for mocking a deaf person.
PewDiePie responds to outrage after mocking deaf TikToker
Kjellberg has since offered a response to the outrage in a pinned comment underneath his initial video, where he called the situation “an honest mistake” and explained why he removed the segment featuring Scarlet May.
“I edited out the clip with the girl that has the long nails,” he wrote. “Had no clue she was deaf, but kinda dumb of me to not realize… Still watching through the clip I only poked fun of her long nails. The voice I did for my dog is the same voice I’ve given her for years.”
“Making my dog’s paws move was poking at people always dancing or doing some move on TikTok, which is an ongoing theme in the whole video,” he added. “Anyway honest mistake, my bad.”
Scarlet May also responded to the situation in a TikTok. She is a fairly popular creator on the platform, boasting over 6 million followers on the viral video app. She claims that she’s trying to normalize using ASL with her long nails, and says that PewDiePie’s comments toward her were “weird.”
“Apparently there’s this big YouTuber, PewDie-whatever, I don’t know his name. But he made a reaction video to one of my TikToks making fun of my nails, making fun of my signs with his dog, and I guess at one point mocking my voice,” she began.
“How do I feel? I feel like it was very weird and very unnecessary, but at the same time I wasn’t surprised. I’m used to it.”
“I’ve been trying to normalize and put it out that using nails while signing is normal, like, it’s okay. But then a big creator comes on here and puts us a million steps back, so it’s very frustrating.”
Click here if TikTok fails to load.
May went on to suggest that PewDiePie was fully aware that she had been using sign language in her TikTok despite initially giving him the benefit of the doubt, noting that he’d removed the section from his video after receiving backlash and argued that this action “made the situation worse.”
“But I mean, we all live and learn,” she finished her statement. “If he didn’t know before, he definitely knows now!”