"The media generally does not like us very much," so says YouTube personality PewDiePie in a recent video, referring to how various media outlets have been picking on him since 2013. The 11-minute video, titled "My Response," served as an open letter of sorts for his fans, letting them in on what has been going on with his channel lately.
PewDiePie has been known for videos of his hilarious antics while streaming his playthroughs of popular video games. Yet this recent one is a far cry from the "Let's Plays" that his YouTube channel has been known for. The video is a personal appeal, an apology, and an attempt to explain how and why the media has painted him to be something he strongly claims he is not: a Nazi and an anti-Semite.
The YouTube personality claimed that he has been the victim of the media for years, from the moment he encountered a rather unflattering article by Variety back in 2013 to the Wall Street Journal's accusations of him being a Nazi.
In the said article, Variety Co-Editor-in-Chief Andrew Wallenstein wrote some scathing remarks, issuing statements like "How does someone you've never heard of manage to get 2.6 billion views for his videos? Blathering like a blithering idiot, apparently."
PewDiePie revealed that it was this article that made him come to a realization. He said "old school media does not like Internet personalities because they're scared of us." He added that they "do not understand" how Internet personalities like him can have such a large voice and command such great influence.
He did admit that he had his shortcomings. PewDiePie apologized to the people who have been hurt by his jokes, in particular the one where he pays two guys from Fiverr to hold up a sign that said "Death to all Jews." At the time, the stunt was broadcast on his channel for millions of his followers to see. It was later taken down from his official account, although not before other users downloaded and posted copies of the clip on their respective channels.
However, he maintained that it was not his intention to sow hate, but to demonstrate how "stupid" the website was, and to see what lengths people would go to just to earn $5.
All throughout the response video, PewDiePie emphasized the point that what the media does is take all his work out of context, portraying his quips as serious statements and not as jokes.
PewDiePie's Media-Blaming Seen as a Donald Trump ParallelIn this constant antagonizing of the media, The Verge drew parallels for the behavior of the YouTube star and U.S. President Donald Trump. The 45th President of the United States has been known to criticize the media in his various speeches.
"The people get it. Much of the media doesn't get it. They actually get it, but they don't write it. Let's put it that way," Donald Trump said. He also believed that the media has become so dishonest that people should talk about it; otherwise, the silence will be a "tremendous disservice" to the American people. He said the following.
"The press, honestly, is out of control. The level of dishonesty is out of control."The Verge also pointed out how the two have built a fan base that mostly consisted of white men, as they pointed out how a large percentage of Donald Trump supporters could be comparable to PewDiePie's "bro army." They also mentioned how both tend to do risqué things, like PewDiePie making casual rape jokes, and then issuing an apology about it later.
Whatever parallels Donald Trump and PewDiePie might share, one thing they certainly have in common is their current mistrust for the media, to the point of considering it unnecessary.
PewDiePie has been creating content for his YouTube channel since 2010, uploading videos that focus on sharing video game moments with his followers. His format proved popular, and his channel boasts over 53 million subscribers as of the time of writing.[Featured Image by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images]