Entertainment

PewDiePie explains the “problem” with YouTube Rewind 2019

by Virginia Glaze
PewDiePie, YouTube

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YouTube Rewind 2019 attempted to mitigate the outrage surrounding last year’s project by creating a series of Top 10 lists, but despite this change, fans are still upset with the video – a phenomenon that PewDiePie explained a week later.

Although YouTube acknowledged the backlash from Rewind 2018 in their latest year-end video, the community at large is unimpressed with the project, which has garnered an impressive seven million dislikes at the time of writing.

Many complained that the platform put in considerably less effort with Rewind 2019, with top names like Jake Paul calling the wrap-up a “terrible music video” that failed to highlight some of the year’s biggest moments.

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YouTube king Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg finally published his thoughts on the subject in a video on December 11, where he revealed that he’d initially agreed with YouTube’s efforts to avoid the “politics” of the year with viewer-led statistics.

“When I saw it, I’m like, ‘Oh, that makes sense, actually. This way, they avoid everyone complaining about it because it’s just a list.’”

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However, Kjellberg likewise understood the outrage around Rewind, calling it “boring” and a “WatchMojo video” that “backfired” when trying to step back from what had become what he dubbed an “advertising reel” for YouTube’s most vanilla content.

“The problem is, along the way, these YouTube Rewind videos became more and more of an advertising reel,” he explained. “It made it so that we can only show the top friendliest creators… and it became preachy and it became cringey.”

(Subject begins at 9:48 for mobile readers)

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That’s not all: he likewise took issue with Rewind 2019 for failing to tribute late YouTuber Desmond “Etika” Amofah, who passed away after going missing in late June.

“He definitely deserves to be recognized in some way,” PewDiePie continued. “I understand that it doesn’t really fit in this format, but they should have made space for it, in my opinion.”

Etika, Instagram
Etika, Instagram
The community of late YouTuber Desmond "Etika" Amofah spoke out after he was not mentioned in YouTube Rewind 2019.

PewDiePie’s sentiments echo that of many of Etika’s fans and friends, who similarly called out the platform for not mentioning the YouTuber in their project - the latest of several Rewinds that have been met with contention from their user base, at large.