After Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg pledged to make an opulent donation of $50,000 to the Anti-Defamation League, an advocacy group based to fight anti-Semitism, tons of of his followers went into full conspiracy principle mode, questioning whether or not he had been blackmailed into doing so. Kjellberg, who has been topic to controversy previously for making anti-Semitic jokes, put the conspiracies to relaxation in a tweet yesterday. As we speak, nonetheless, he reversed his resolution, releasing a YouTube video during which he rescinded his pledge to donate to the ADL.
Kjellberg’s video earlier this week had begun by describing his sponsorship with Honey. Then, he introduced his deliberate donation to the ADL. In 2017, the ADL’s CEO had recommended Disney for dropping their partnership with Kjellberg after his “postings of movies on YouTube containing swastikas and different anti-Semitic content material” and “large dissemination of hate speech.” Kjellberg, in his phrases, had “lastly come to phrases with the duty I’ve as a creator,” and to many, his donation to the ADL appeared like a approach for him to lastly put to relaxation the previous allegations of anti-Semitism.
In in the present day’s video, Kjellberg defined his resolution to not donate in spite of everything. “Once we had been planning the collaboration, we thought it could be good to donate to a charity as a option to have a good time. I made the error of selecting a charity I used to be suggested as an alternative of selecting a charity I’m personally captivated with, which is 100% my fault,” mentioned Kjellberg within the video.
“After I uploaded the video speaking in regards to the charity, it was very transient. Individuals may inform one thing was up. The entire web simply didn’t consider it. ‘Why is he donating to this charity? Have a look at his face.’ Full conspiracy mode. It was very attention-grabbing to observe that unfold,” laughed Kjellberg.
“I noticed it as a chance to place an finish to those alt-right claims which were thrown towards me. It wasn’t to try to clear my identify or say grace. If it was, I might have finished it years in the past. However after the Christchurch tragedy, I felt a duty to do one thing about it, as a result of it’s not nearly me. It affected different folks in a approach, and I’m not okay with that. I’ve struggled to determine how to do this, however this was not the best option to go about it. I knew it wasn’t excellent, however I additionally didn’t know a whole lot of issues that surfaced all through this entire factor in regards to the charity that doesn’t match in any respect. So I perceive why folks had issues about it. These are issues I might have recognized myself if I had simply taken my time. . . It actually doesn’t really feel real for me to proceed with the donation at this level, and I as an alternative needed to really take my time and hold the intent that I had, however do it with the best charity and doing it correctly. I simply needed to make that clear. I’m sorry for all of the confusion, and I’m sorry for messing this up. That’s what I do!”
Reached for remark, the ADL offered the identical remark to Kotaku that they offered yesterday: “ADL discovered in regards to the potential donation from Felix Kjellberg when everybody else did: when he made the announcement on his channel earlier this week. We have now not obtained any communication from him past that.” Kjellberg has not but returned Kotaku’s request for remark.
During the last couple of days, Kjellberg’s followers and followers have unfold the declare that the ADL was blackmailing him after threats of “censoring” or, mockingly, “defaming” him. The backlash towards his donation to the ADL was fueled by conspiracies that the well-respected, 100-year-old anti-hate group may in some way shut down Kjellberg’s YouTube channel, which had simply hit 100 million subscriptions. In a latest video, Kjellberg himself described the ADL as an “group that fights bigotry and prejudice in all its types.”