Friday, September 15, 2017

PewDiePie & The No Good, Very Bad Word

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg or as the world knows him, PewDiePie is in another storm of controversy. During a live stream of the game Playerunknown Battlegrounds, PewDiePie said a racial slur and then laughed after saying it. While some gamers having been sticking up for him saying “He said it in a gamer rage”, but that still doesn't make it right. Every person who is reading this article has probably said something they regretted in their life, but there are two major differences about PewDiePie.

The Live Stream Incident NSFW: Language Warning 

The first one is that PewDiePie is a public figure. Being a public figure comes with the responsibility of being a role model for your younger fans who may not know that word is not proper. Kids tend to emulate who they look up to and we don't need kids walking around using that word because their favorite YouTube Star used it and thought it was funny. As a YouTube Creator he should know the demographics of his viewers and at least be semi-aware of some major world news events that are impacting his viewers lives. Racial tension has been a major hot button topic recently in the United States, especially with the events that happened in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The other major thing is that this is not PewDiePie's first brush with highly offensive material. This past January, he posted a video with the message of “Death To All Jews”. He said it was a joke saying that the site he hired the actors from “would do anything for five dollars”. That video caused PewDiePie to lose his deal with Disney. After his Death To All Jews scandal, Neo-Nazi websites such as The Daily Stormer proclaimed themselves as “PewDiePie's #1 Fan Site”. In the past he had also posted a few other videos with Anti-Semitic messages including one that depicted a man dressed as Jesus Christ saying, “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong”.

It's players like PewDiePie that gives gamers a bad name and reinforces the stereotype that every gamer online only talks about sleeping with your mother and calling you derogatory names. Actions like these from celebrities like PewDiePie have given power to racist terms and the ideological of the far right. We as the gaming community need to stand up against this type of racism and lead the march that will help make the world a more peaceful place for gamers and non-gamers alike.