YouTuber Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg’s battle with T-Series introduced a meme that took the world by storm - but Kjellberg himself called for an end to the movement nearly six months after its inception.
PewDiePie ended the widely popular ‘Subscribe to PewDiePie’ meme on April 28, claiming that the slogan had evolved into a phrase used for hateful acts - which happened to coincide with a major fan-made tribute that was already in motion.
Fans flew a plane over New York City just a day later, which sported a banner that read, “Subscribe to PewDiePie” alongside the classic “brofist” logo.
PewDiePie himself reacted to the plane during a livestream, going on to thank the fans for their efforts despite his call to end the movement a day prior.
“A nice wrap-up, to say the least,” PewDiePie said of the matter in an episode of ‘LWIAY’ on May 2. “Thanks to everyone for donating and organizing this. I think it’s so cool. It’s a perfect example of the positive things people did.”
[Timestamp: 1:02 for mobile viewers]
Kjellberg noted that much of his fanbase was responsive to his call to end the subscriber war, with many spreading the hashtag, “#thankyoupewdiepie” in favor of the previously popular “#subscribetopewdiepie” meme.
According to a poster explaining the event, the combined cost for the plane and banner totaled over $4,500, with the event itself being promoted by popular internet personality ‘Voiceover Pete,’ who even held a meet-and-greet with fans.
The event, dubbed ‘Project Starhammer,’ was part of the previously planned ‘International PewDiePie Day,’ which Kjellberg noted had already been in motion for some time before his somber message on April 28.
“Just to be clear, they planned this for a very long time, so obviously they couldn’t change it,” PewDiePie said during his livestream of the event. “They would have if they could, but it’s a good intention. The meme is over. Don’t take it the wrong way. Of course someone will, as always.”
Although he has since been overtaken by T-Series, his battle with the Bollywood label saw fans take part in the race en masse, with hundreds of fans parading through the streets of Tallinn, Estonia in solidarity the YouTuber, among other crazy stunts.