Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg is making headlines once again for dropping the n-word during a live stream of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. This isn’t the first time that Kjellberg has been caught expressing slurs towards people of other races and religions. Earlier in the year, Kjellberg hired men to hold up signs with the words “death to all Jews” written on them. I am honestly kind of shocked at this given that it’s 2017. But on the other hand, I guess I’m not. Especially because of everything that has been happening in the world over the last few months. And when I say “world”, I mean the United States.
But like I said, this isn’t his first incident using racially charged language. Because of the earlier incident, Disney’s Maker Studios cancelled a lucrative deal to produce TV, apps and merchandise under the PewDiePie brand. But at the time PewDiePie said that he actually commissioned the stunt as a way to show how crazy the world actually is. Yeah, the world is crazy. But because of messed up garbage like this. What is also messed up is that this incident didn’t cause YouTube to cancel his YouTube Red series “Scar PewDiePie”.
This time around, however, Kjellberg has caused the game developer Camp Santo (who made Firewatch) to distance himself from Kjellberg. Co-founder of the studio Sean Vanaman said that Camp Santo would use DMCA takedowns to remove PewDiePie videos that feature Firewatch. On Twitter naman added that he was “sick of this child getting more chances to make money off of what we make.” He went on to say that the association of his games with PewDiePie stands as “endorsement” of a “propagator of despicable garbage.”
As of right now the video in question cannot be viewed online. Which is a good thing, but there are some interesting opinions coming from other gamers around what is acceptable Some have argued that keeping certain words out of your vocabulary shouldn’t be an issue. Especially once as horrendous as what PewDiePie said. Some have said that they too have said some regretable things while playing a game online. None have admitted to using the n-word though. So where is the line drawn? Can derogatory words against gay people be used and deemed “ok”, as this might be a more common phrase in our language? I don’t necessarily think either is acceptable, but there is an interesting argument around what is acceptable.
The other thing that is of interest to me is how he is saying this is all by accident. Perhaps you could forgive one incident. Especially if it’s in the heat of the moment. But when something is calculated, like hiring a service to wave signs that say “death to all Jews”, I think it’s no longer an accident. We live in a politically correct world, and derogatory language is used all the time. But that doesn’t make it right. So what PewDiePie is doing is actually perpetuating hate. And we all know where that leads us. These kinds of incidents leave me speechless. Mostly because I can’t imagine how this is still happening. But at the same time, I’m saddened by the fact that it is.