PewDiePie gives scathing response to allegations of Anti-Semitism - Dexerto
Entertainment

PewDiePie gives scathing response to allegations of Anti-Semitism

Published: 11/Dec/2018 20:50 Updated: 11/Dec/2018 20:56

by Virginia Glaze

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YouTube’s biggest creator, Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg, was accused of Anti-Semitism after promoting a controversial channel in one of his videos. Now, he is speaking out about the debacle – and he’s taking issue with the media in the process.

PewDiePie became part of yet another controversy after promoting a series of smaller channels during an episode of ‘Pew News’ on December 9. 

One of these channels, going by the handle ‘E;R,’ is notable for featuring Nazi imagery and problematic content – leading to wide speculation that PewDiePie was intentionally promoting an Anti-Semitic channel.

However, PewDiePie claims that such allegations are untrue, arguing that he had no knowledge of E;R’s Anti-Semitic references as stated in a response video uploaded on December 11.

“Obviously, if I noticed that, I wouldn’t have referenced him in the shoutout,” PewDiePie argued. “Not because I have a problem with Nazi references being offensive in themselves, but because I said… that I was going to distance myself Nazi jokes.”

PewDiePie went on to take issue with the media’s coverage of the scandal, specifically calling out an article written by tech and news outlet ‘The Verge’ for allegedly using incorrect data when citing E;R’s subscriber boost after Pewd’s shoutout.

The Swede likewise claimed that those unfamiliar with Nazi tactics would be unlikely to recognize the references in E;R’s videos, calling the debacle “ironic.”

“The irony here is that I’m supposed to be the Nazi, but I don’t know any of these goddamn references,” PewDiePie continued.

PewDiePie has since edited his previous video to exclude E;R’s channel from his recommendations, likewise deleting the link to his channel from the video’s description.

Entertainment

FBE founders Benny & Rafi Fine called out by staff for “toxic workplace”

Published: 16/Jan/2021 19:54

by Charlotte Colombo

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Benny and Rafi Fine, the two creators behind the FBE (Fine Brothers entertainment) brand have come back into the spotlight today a year after they stepped back from FBE after former employees publicly accused them of racism and a “toxic” working environment.

In an investigative article by Insider, 26 former employees spoke out about their experiences working for FBE. The company’s former head of casting, Steve Caustey, revealed that the Fine brothers used a three-tier system to rank their “reactors”, and demanded that at least 33% of the people in their “react” videos involved people in the top tier before an episode could be made.

Causey told Insider that there were “more white people at the top” of the tier, which meant that episodes ended up being predominately white.

He said in an interview with them: “It was noticeable, but I don’t think it was intentional. I feel like it might’ve started as unconscious bias, but after a time enough people brought it up that it should have been addressed.”

A former researcher told Insider that FBE staff “profit from the idea that they’re diverse without valuing it authentically. They try to capitalize and commercialize on it as much as they can.”

FBE’s lawyers said to Insider that race wasn’t a factor in decisions such as tiers and video thumbnails, with a spokesperson adding that the Fine brothers “have always endeavored to feature a majority of underrepresented voices in FBE’s content.”

What happened with FBE last year?

In June 2020, a video resurfaced of a comedy sketch Benny Fine did with fellow YouTuber Shane Dawson, wherein Benny was wearing blackface. The footage went viral and led to the two founders receiving extreme backlash.

High profile members of their ‘React’ series, such as Kennedy Zimet, made the decision to leave the channel after the footage went viral, with Zimet saying in a statement shared to Twitter that they felt “blindsided and flat out used, especially since they have not owned up to their actions by apologizing publicly or to their black cast members.”

This led to Mark Plier, who claimed to be a former producer for FBE, to claim on Twitter that the Fine brothers “wanted to benefit from the “diversity” but not benefit diversity”, alleging that YouTube video thumbnails with more than one BAME person were frequently turned down by the pair.

He also claimed that they “would frequently ask for the person of color to be on the right of the thumbnail and not the left, our only conclusion as to why that would be is the left person is the first one you’d see and thus the first impression.”

In further Tweets, Plier alleged that “the culture was so entrenched and they were so unwilling to hear our demands for changes that employee turnover became larger than the company’s actual size in just the 3 years I was there.”

The brothers released a statement apologizing for their “terrible errors of judgment” and ultimately decided to take a step back from the FBE company following the backlash.