Disney's Maker Studios and Google's YouTube are distancing themselves from a top YouTube star after he made jokes construed as anti-Semitic and posted Nazi imagery in his videos.
Felix Kjellberg, known online as PewDiePie, has the most popular YouTube channel, with more than 53 million subscribers. The Swedish YouTube star rose to fame by posting videos of him playing and commenting about video games. More recently, he branched out into non-gaming videos that show him performing skits, stunts or making jokes.
Disney, whose Maker Studios runs Kjellberg's channels and network, said he crossed the line with some of his videos. One video from January shows two Indian men paid by Kjellberg to hold up a sign that says "Death to all Jews." Kjellberg said the video was meant to demonstrate how far people will go if they get paid to do something, but he didn't think they would actually do it.
Other videos show Nazi imagery in a satirical way.
In blog post Kjellberg said he was making jokes, but realizes now that they were offensive.