I don’t enjoy watching PewDiePie’s videos. I think that, for the most part, they’re all pretty loud, obnoxious, and not really something that provides me enjoyment. I do, however, respect the hell out of the fact that Felix, through his online alias, has brought together 53 million people around the world that tune in to watch him, and likely do so on a daily basis. Anyone that can bring others together to play video games, talk about them, and get engaging discussions going on the daily in their comments sections–I appreciate them.
Video games are something that I’ve enjoyed and loved being a part of since I was just a wee lad. I have an immense respect for a lot of “YouTubers,” even though I don’t watch most of them.
As I’m sure everyone already knows by now, Felix made some pretty…well, not good jokes. And it’s not just that they were unfunny, it’s that they were downright offensive on a few levels. There was one particular video he posted that had two men holding up a sign that said “Death to all Jews” as part of a joke. Felix has proven in the past that he can entertain millions of people; he can be funny and genuine–he can be a good person.
There are so many different jokes that could have been used in the video. It didn’t have to be what it was, but Felix made his choice and up the video went for millions of eyes across the world to see. Wall Street Journal published an article about this, talking about how YouTube and Disney were severing ties with PewDiePie, and drilled into him pretty hard.
Now, I’m not going to defend the joke(s) he made. They were bad, they weren’t funny, they were distasteful–you’ve heard it all already. Tons of other YouTubers and some of Felix’s friends have posted their own opinions about the situation. While they don’t think he made the right choice with his jokes, they also know that he’s not a Nazi. Felix is not an anti-semite, he’s not alt-right, he’s not whatever some people would like you to think. In regards to whether or not he’s personally being attacked by specific journalists? I don’t know. I couldn’t possibly know that and, to be fair, no one really could except for the people that originally wrote about him.
As I said before: if he could amass the following that he has–53 million subscribers–clearly, he’s been doing something right, and for a long time. He’s looked up to by so many people and by so many of his own peers. He’s already cemented himself as one of the most important people/personalities to have ever come from YouTube.
I’m not a diehard PewDiePie fan, but I’d call myself a Felix fan because I like to think that I can judge someone’s character pretty well. Felix made a really, really stupid mistake, and he he’ll pay for it in whatever way that he must. He’s already apologized–he apologized pretty quickly, actually. Do I feel a little bit bad that his life is probably the ultimate shit storm right now? Yes and no. I feel bad because I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes. But I also don’t feel bad because he ultimately pulled the trigger on putting that video up and those jokes out there.
Let’s hope that the rest of the YouTuber community learns from this kind of thing. No matter how popular you get–even when you’re on top of the hill, you can make a pretty big mistake that puts all of that on the line for you. Some jokes are pretty much always better left unsaid, and if you really think those jokes are your only option, they’re not. Go to improv classes or something. Learn to be professionally funny without dropping Nazi jokes, especially when you’ve got an audience that includes millions of little kids that look up to you.
I hope that Felix learns from his mistakes. I hope that he doesn’t give the media any more of the shit storm that they want; trust me, some journalist somewhere is licking his chops waiting for Felix to slip up.
Let us, and me, know what you think about the PewDiePie situation, whether you think he should be condemned, forgiven–wherever you sit on the situation. I’d love to know what everyone thinks. Share your opinions. At the very least, you’ll broaden someone else’s spectrum as to how they might think about the situation. Stay cool, everyone.
“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”