PewDiePie, Let’s Player and owner of the most subscribed channel on YouTube, is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year, Disney’s Makers Studio dropped his channel over accusations of the YouTuber using anti-Semitic jokes in his videos. Being the biggest star on YouTube, he was quick to recover. However, it seems now he has dug himself an even deeper hole. During a recent livestream of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, PewDiePie (real name Felix Kjellberg) dropped the n-word in a fit of rage, and he has now released a video apologizing for that.
The original video of the livestream has since been deleted, but the critical moment has been recorded and distributed online on various social media sites, such as Twitter (strong language warning, if you couldn’t already tell.) It occurred during a tense moment with another online player, during which Kjellberg exclaimed, “What a f— n—.” He was quick to apologize for his use of language, but, of course, having said it live in front of an audience of millions, the damage had already been done.
In his apology video, Kjellberg says, “I should know better. I can’t keep messing up like this.” He goes on to say:
You probably won’t believe this when I say this, but, whenever I go online and I hear other players use the same kind of language that I did, I always find it extremely immature and stupid. And I hate how I now personally fed into that part of gaming as well.
Regardless, Kjellberg’s public use of the racial slur has put many YouTubers on edge, as they fear that the mainstream media’s reaction to the most popular YouTuber could hold consequences for the entire platform as a whole. Campo Santo, the developers behind the indie adventure hit Firewatch, have already responded by taking down a Let’s Play Kjellberg made of their game, and have said they would not allow him to play anymore of their games on his channel.