American hip-hop artist Talib Kweli has tweeted his unequivocal condemnation of YouTuber Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg and his fans, in the aftermath of the New Zealand terror attack on March 15.
The attack on two mosques in Christchurch, in which 49 people are confirmed to have died, was streamed via social media by the attacker. Although it was quickly removed from social media sites, in a clip taken from the video, the attacker can be heard saying “subscribe to PewDiePie” prior to carrying out the horrific shooting.
It has led to some accusing PewDiePie’s content of being inflammatory, while others argue that he has no responsibility whatsoever, and that it is simply giving the shooter what he wants by creating the link.
After it became clear the shooter had uttered his name prior to the attack, PewDiePie released a statement on Twitter to say that he was ‘sickened’ and that the shooting was ‘devastating’.
Talib Kweli also took to Twitter on March 15 and, in response to the clip of the terrorist saying “subscribe to PewDiePie”, stated that he cannot ignore what he deems to be “white supremacists and racism online”. He also says that, after previously accusing the Swede of racism, he was the victim of racial slurs directed at him by PewDiePie fans.
After getting a response from a user arguing Kjellberg is not to blame for his fans' behaviour, Kweli simply replied: “Fuck PewDiePie and fuck you. Anything else?”
Pewdiepie fans spent a month trolling me and calling me a nigger right here on twitter because I called Pewdiepie a racist. Many other people tell me to ignore white supremacists and racism online because “it’s not real.”— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) March 15, 2019
This is why I refuse to. https://t.co/O0jEqPYcst
Fuck Pewdiepie and fuck you. Anything else?— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) March 15, 2019
The tragic event in New Zealand seems to have reignited the debate about whether or not Kjellberg’s content is appropriate, and some detractors even go as far as to accuse him and his YouTube channel as being a “platform for white supremacist content”.
There has even been the emergence of a petition online, which aims to remove PewDiePie from YouTube altogether.
At the time of writing, the petition stands at just under 700 signatures, but it shows the extent to which some people believe PewDiePie’s content to be harmful.
PewDiePie has been accused of racist remarks in the past, having to apologize for using the 'N' word during a livestream, or when he was alleged to have demonstrated anti-semitic behaviour by the Wall Street Journal.
Many YouTubers have stood up in defence of the Swede since the New Zealand tragedy, and his large fanbase continues to stick by him too.