YouTube star PewDiePie under fire for branding rival gamer with n-word
The 27-year-old vlogger, real name Felix Kjellberg, broadcast the slur to his channel’s 57 million subscribers after becoming frustrated with another player while streaming the online third-person shooter ‘Battlegrounds.’
“What a f**king n***ers!” he said, while shooting an opponent. “What a f**king asshole! I don’t mean that in a bad way.”
While some fans came to Kjellberg’s defense, Sean Vanaman, co-founder of the game developer Campo Santo, took to Twitter to condemn the Swede.
In a series of tweets, Vanaman said that his firm was invoking the Digital Rights Copyright Act (DRCA) to remove a stream of its game ‘Firewatch’ from his YouTube channel.
“I am sick of this child getting more and more chances to make money off what we make,” Vanaman added. “He’s worse than a closeted racist: he’s a propagator of despicable garbage that does real damage to the culture around this industry.”
The legality of Campo Santo’s move is not clear, as many who stream games online claim their additional commentary means they can use the copyrighted material under ‘fair use.’ However, as of now, the ‘Firewatch’ stream has been removed from PewDiePie’s channel.
Reaction to the clip has been mixed online with some claiming that Kjellberg was simply stupid, but does not deserve “to be executed for it.”
Kjellberg has been the focus of racist and anti-semitic controversies in the past.
Earlier this year the vlogger was forced to apologize after publishing a video featuring two men he’d paid to hold a sign reading “Death to All Jews.”
As the controversy grew, Kjellberg, whose videos reportedly earned him more than $15 million last year, attacked the Wall Street Journal over an article detailing alleged anti-semitism in his videos. Following the publication of the piece, Maker Studios, a subsidiary of parent company Disney, cancelled a deal with Kjellberg to create video content.
"Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate," a spokeswoman for Maker Studios told Business Insider. "Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward."
The row also led to YouTube cancelling the release of Kjellberg's Scare PewDiePie 2 series.